Collision – July 15, 2023
By Thomas Hall on 15th July 2023
Date: July 15, 2023
Location: Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Commentators: Ian Riccaboni, Nigel McGuinness
It’s a big night around here with three title (kind of) matches. First of all, Bullet Club Gold gets their rematch for the Tag Team Titles in a two out of three falls match. That isn’t enough though, as both Owen Hart Foundation tournaments wrap up tonight. You can’t say they’re slacking this week so let’s get to it.
FTR, Bullet Club Gold, Willow Nightingale, Ricky Starks and CM Punk are ready to win.
Tag Team Titles: FTR vs. Bullet Club Gold
2/3 falls and FTR is defending. Harwood and White start things off, with White trying the mind games to no avail. Back in and Harwood shoulders him down, setting up an early headlock. Wheeler comes in to headlock Robinson before running him over hard with a shoulder. The Club needs a breather on the floor as we take a break.
Back with White still in trouble until he rolls over and brings in Robinson. That means the punches can be thrown, with Robinson’s big left dropping Wheeler fast. They trade rollups for two each until Wheeler gorilla presses Robinson. It’s back to Harwood for some chops in the corner before a suplex sets up the chinlock.
Robinson fights up and sends him into the corner for the break before handing it back to White. A bunch of chops in the corner set up a Death Valley Driver for two, with Wheeler having to make the save. White’s bridging belly to back suplex gets two and they clothesline each other down. Everything breaks up and the Shatter Machine is blocked. Instead White grabs the Blade Runner for the first fall at 16:34.
We take a break and come back with Harwood in the corner but backdropping his way to freedom. Wheeler comes in for a running back elbow in the corner but gets taken down by White. We hit the long chinlock until White takes him into the corner some some chops. Another chinlock, this time with a knee in the back, keeps Wheeler down so Wheeler can come in for a backsplash. A second one only hits knees though and Wheeler gets two off a sunset flip.
The chinlock goes on again, but this time Wheeler gets up and brings Harwood back in to clean house. Harwood can’t get the Sharpshooter (big pop for the attempt) so White kicks him into the corner for two. The spike piledriver is broken up and Harwood’s super sunset flip gets two more. Redneck Boogie gets another near fall and FTR is absolutely stunned. The PowerPlex connects but Robinson comes in for a cheap shot so White can get a VERY close two. With nothing else working, a blind tag brings Wheeler back in so the Shatter Machine can tie it up at 37:30.
We take another break and come back with Harwood beat on on White again. They head outside with White managing a hurricanrana over the barricade, meaning we now pause to make sure they’re both alive. White is back up so he gets suplexed again, followed by a double suplex to each challenger on the floor. Back in and they pull themselves up for the big staredown and the fans certainly approve. Wheeler and Robinson crash out to the floor and we take another break.
Back again with Harwood making the ropes to get out of a leglock, meaning White can Tune Up The Band. Instead White grabs the Sharpshooter, with Harwood biting his hand to avoid the tap. White stumbles a bit though and Harwood dives over to make the rope. They go up top with Harwood getting a belly to back superplex as we have five minutes to go.
Robinson pulls Wheeler off the apron to break up the tag attempt, allowing White to grab his bridging belly to back suplex for two more. Everything breaks down and FTR gets stereo Sharpshooters for a huge reaction until both of them fall apart. Back up and Harwood grabs another Sharpshooter on Robinson, who finally taps to retain the titles at 58:10.
Rating: A-. This was another great match between these four as they just let it go nuts and get in everything they could think of for one heck of a performance. What matters is that they tore the house down and had me wondering how it would end with the time calls. It’s hard to talk about a match like this as there was almost nothing to complain about. Save for maybe the required Sharpshooters in Canada, which is a tribute that has LONG since overstayed its welcome. Move on already.
Post match the handshake is offered but the Club walks away instead.
Video on Blood & Guts.
Women’s Owen Hart Foundation Finals: Ruby Soho vs. Willow Nightingale
Soho’s armdrag is blocked and Willow runs her over with straight power. A fisherman’s suplex gives Willow two and we take an early break. Back with Willow’s running powerslam getting two for a British Bulldog reference. A victory roll gives Soho two but Willow spinebusters her into a half crab. Soho grabs a rope and the spray paint, which she throws to Willow for a distraction. No Future gets two but Willow is up with the Pounce. The Babe With The Powerbomb gives Willow the pin and the tournament at 9:04.
Rating: B-. They had a nice match here and it’s great to see Nightingale winning something in this company for a change. She has so much charisma and now she has a prize of her own. Now there is a good chance that she goes on to face Athena for the Ring Of Honor Women’s Title and she has the momentum built in to make it work this time around. Good stuff here, as Willow’s power worked well.
We look at QT Marshall costing Powerhouse Hobbs the Owen Hart Tournament match last week.
Marshall begs Hobbs’ forgiveness but Hobbs doesn’t seem impressed.
Kings Of The Black Throne vs. Randy Myers/???
King shoves them both around to start so it’s off to Black for a kneebar. Cue Andrade El Idolo for a distraction though, only to have Black Mass connect for the pin at 2:51.
The big staredown ensues post match.
Men’s Owen Hart Hart Foundation Tournament Finals: CM Punk vs. Ricky Starks
Feeling out process to start with Punk grabbing a headlock takeover. Starks reverses into one of this own and the fans aren’t sure what to make of this so far. Punk sends him outside for a crash though and holds the ropes open for Starks to return as we take a break. Back with Punk missing a charge into the corner, allowing Starks to hit his rope walk to send Punk outside.
Punk gets back in and drops him again, this time setting up Bret Hart’s Five Moves Of Doom. The chinlock goes on for a bit until Starks slips away and pulls Punk off the middle rope. We take another break and come back with Punk charging into a raised boot in the corner. Starks misses a top rope elbow though and a hammerlock lariat gives Punk two.
Frustration seems to be setting in and stereo crossbodies leave both of them down. Back up and Punk grabs a guillotine choke but Starks makes the rope. Starks is sat on top for a super hurricanrana, which is countered into a rollup so Starks can grab the rope for the pin at 19:38.
Rating: B. Solid main event here, though giving us ANOTHER heel in the end is certainly a choice. AEW has a big problem with making one heel after another and that is what they did here, albeit after giving him the biggest win of his career. I can go for Starks winning and Punk can’t brag about being the undefeated champion, so they covered a lot at once in a good match.
Overall Rating: A. What more could you ask for from this show? The opener was a match of the year candidate and ran over half of the show, plus you got both tournaments wrapped up. Throw in a fun enough squash and this was one heck of a show. I’m not sure if they can keep it up going forward, but egads they made this work very well. Outstanding show.
FTR b. Bullet Club Gold 2-1
Willow Nightingale b. Ruby Soho – Babe With The Powerbomb
King Of The Black Throne b. Randy Myers/??? – Black Mass to Myers
Ricky Starks b. CM Punk – Rollup while grabbing the rope
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