Collision – July 1, 2023
By Thomas Hall on 1st July 2023
Date: July 1, 2023
Location: First Ontario Center, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Commentators: Kevin Kelly, Nigel McGuinness
We’re taped this week and the focus is going to be on tournament matches. We have three Owen Hart Foundation Tournament matches and that should be enough to carry the show. Other than that, we have the Collision debut of MJF and some Forbidden Door fallout to cover. Let’s get to it.
The Owen Hart Foundation Tournament participants are ready to win.
Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Kip Morst
Non-title, Morst is a hometown boy, and MJF is in USA flag colors on Canada Day. MJF jumps him to start and the Heatseeker gets two, with MJF pulling him up. A LeBell Lock makes Morst tap at 40 seconds.
Post match MJF wants a local star to come out here so here is a rather large man, only to have Ethan Page come out instead. Page talks about his father coming here as a laborer and being told he would never be anything more. Then he wound up being the president of several companies, which makes Page better than MJF, who is a bare minimum b****.
AEW calls Page when they need something done and his wife wants to know when he’ll get paid back for all the extra he does. Page told her in due time, and now it’s time. The challenge is on and let’s have a title match. This was straight fire from Page and the best thing he has ever done.
AEW World Title: Ethan Page vs. Maxwell Jacob Friedman
MJF is defending and gets stomped down in the corner to start. The Ego’s Edge is escaped though and MJF starts in on the leg. Page tries a handstand in the corner but gets caught in an Alabama Slam. The half crab (ala Lance Storm) goes on until Page finally makes the rope. We take a break and come back with Page hammering away and hitting a Twist of Fate.
The Swanton takes too long though due to the leg, allowing MJF to crotch him on top. MJF goes up as well and it’s a super powerslam to plant MJF down again. The very delayed cover gets two and MJF sends him to the apron. A dragon screw legwhip on the apron sets up the Heatseeker to retain the title at 10:58.
Rating: B-. I get that Page couldn’t win the title here and that this was a one off moment, but dang that was a great promo to set him up really well. Page has never quite broken out around here so it was nice to see him getting to do something special. Good enough match too, as MJF did have to work to retain here.
Men’s Owen Hart Foundation Tournament First Round: Dustin Rhodes vs. Powerhouse Hobbs
The QTV crew is here with Hobbs. Rhodes grabs a headlock to start and hammers away before going up, only to have Hobbs load up a gorilla press. That’s escaped but QT Marshall trips Rhodes up, allowing Hobbs to knock him down. A posting cuts Rhodes open and we take a break.
Back with Rhodes hitting a jumping clothesline into Cross Rhodes. A piledriver gets two on Hobbs and a Panama Sunrise gets the same. Rhodes has to deck Marshall off the apron though and Hobbs hits the spinebuster….for one? Back up and Rhodes’ powerslam gets two but Marshall gets in another cheap shot. The spinebuster finishes Rhodes at 11:07.
Rating: C+. Rhodes put up a nice fight here and it was a lot better than having Hobbs run through him. Hobbs is someone who has all kinds of potential, but it wasn’t a great sign when he was looking a good bit tired less than ten minutes into a match. If he can get that figured out, he should be in a great place for a long time to come.
Video on Roderick Strong vs. Samoa Joe.
Miro vs. Anthony Henry
Miro suplexes him down to start and then suplexes him a few more times for good measure. Henry gets a boot up in the corner and goes up top, only to get kicked in the head. The camel clutch finishes for Miro at 3:08.
Rating: C. What else is there to say here? Miro ran through him and finished with his hold in short order. Doing that again and again is going to make Miro into a star again as he does everything else needed to make it work for him. It’s a shame he has to start over, but he’s awesome enough that it shouldn’t take long.
Here is Bullet Club Gold, complete with official new members the Gunns. Jay White is happy with the team being at full strength and promises Juice Robinson is advancing in the tournament tonight. The Gunns brag about their success and everything that they have done. Tony Schiavone tells them that the Club is barred from ringside, which causes quite the freak out.
With that out of the way, White says he wanted what CM Punk brought back with him in that bag two weeks ago. Oh and they’ll take the Tag Team Titles too. CM Punk/FTR/Ricky Starks pop up on screen, with Punk saying he isn’t worried about White. Punk says he has friends instead of bodyguards and FTR could go for a piece of them too. Starks is ready for Robinson tonight. This version of White felt like a star and you can see why some people are so gung ho about him.
Men’s Owen Hart Foundation Tournament First Round; Ricky Starks vs. Juice Robinson
They fight over arm control to start until Starks grabs a headlock takeover. Back up and Robinson takes out the knee, sending Starks face first into the rope. Robinson works on the leg for a bit until Starks fights up with some shots to the face. The leg is kicked out again though and we a break. Back with Robinson hitting a cannonball but Starks tells him to bring in.
A few shots to the face set up a DDT and Starks nips up, damaging his knee again in the process. Starks grabs a tornado DDT but a hanging DDT is countered into a hot shot. Robinson grabs the Texas Cloverleaf, with Starks finally making it to the rope. Robinson rolls him up for two but something like a spinebuster gives Starks two of his own. A super hurricanrana is blocked but Robinson hits his own spear for two. Starks hits a spear for two but a rollup gives Starks the pin at 15:44.
Rating: B-. What matters the most here is having Starks get the win, as that is something that hasn’t happened often enough. With this out of the way, there is a good chance that Starks can move on from Bullet Club Gold, who have taken his attention for months now. Starks seems to be coming up the ladder a bit in recent weeks and that is great or his future, assuming Hobbs doesn’t crush him in the next round.
Post match the Bullet Club runs in but CM Punk/FTR make the save.
Christian Cage is feeling nice on Canada Day but here is Shawn Spears to say he wants to talk to the champ. Cage gets in between them and says talk, only to say that Spears isn’t dangerous. Spears says he’ll see the champ soon.
TBS Title: Lady Frost vs. Kris Statlander
Frost is challenging and gets powered down to start. Statlander blocks a headlock takeover attempt and they trade missed flips. A backbreaker works a bit better for Statlander and we take a break. Back with Statlander planting her again but Frost grabs a German suplex. A tornado DDT plants Statlander for two but she flips out of a piledriver and hits a discus lariat. Saturday Night Fever retains at 7:56.
Rating: C. This match suffered from the same problem that so many women’s matches in AEW have to deal with: a break cutting out nearly half of the match. I know there’s picture in picture and all that jazz, but going to a break and hearing about where I can get a cheap pizza or what is coming up on TNT is a pretty easy way to take me out of the match. Statlander’s roll continues though and she is feeling like a star. If those knees can hold up, she could be going a long, long way around here.
Andrade El Idolo is annoyed at the House Of Black, who pop up on a monitor behind him. El Idolo turns over a camera.
Here’s what’s coming on various shows, including a video on Wheeler Yuta vs. Kenny Omega on Dynamite.
Men’s Owen Hart Foundation Tournament First Round: Roderick Strong vs. Samoa Joe
CM Punk is on commentary. Feeling out process to start until Strong gets in a few strikes. Joe sends him outside but it’s too early for the dive, allowing Strong to switch places. Strong’s dive can connect just fine and they head back inside for the chinlock. Joe fights up and hits the release Rock Bottom out of the corner for two as we take a break.
Back with Strong hitting a running knee but Joe knocks him right back down. A knee drop sets up a neck crank but Strong fights up and hits another dropkick. Strong manages a backbreaker and the Sick Kick gets two. A middle rope dropkick gets two and a jumping knee rocks Joe again. End of Heartache is broken up and Strong gets pulled into the Koquina Clutch for the win at 13:27.
Rating: B-. These two know how to beat each other up very well and it can be very fun to hear those strikes landing. Eventually though, it’s hard to get away from Joe when he tries to choke you out and that is what happened to Strong here. It made for a good main event, though Joe vs. Punk is going to be the real attraction here.
Post match Punk and Joe have to be held apart, which lets Joe Emerald Flosion Strong onto a chair. Strong has to be taken out on a stretch with Adam Cole coming out to check on him too. Punk looks rather serious to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. Maybe it was the emphasis on tournaments, but this didn’t feel anywhere near as big or important as the first two shows. The stuff they’re building towards should be good, but this wasn’t keeping my interest as well. I’m not the biggest tournament fan in the world and having so much of the show focus on them didn’t help. Not a bad show, but the weakest of the three episodes so far.
Maxwell Jacob Friedman b. Kip Morst – LeBell Lock
Maxwell Jacob Friedman b. Ethan Page – Heatseeker
Powerhouse Hobbs b. Dustin Rhodes – Spinebuster
Miro b. Anthony Henry – Camel clutch
Ricky Starks b. Juice Robinson – Rollup
Kris Statlander b. Lady Frost – Saturday Night Fever
Samoa Joe b. Roderick Strong – Koquina Clutch
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