Collision – July 22, 2023
By Thomas Hall on 22nd July 2023
Date: July 22, 2023
Location: Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
Commentators: Ian Riccaboni, Nigel McGuinness
We’re back to what I guess passes for normal around here after last week’s huge show. That could make for some interesting changes, as this week’s show features a Trios Titles match. Other than that I’m sure CM Punk is going to want some revenge on Ricky Starks after last week’s screwy finish so let’s get to it.
The Acclaimed and Billy Gunn, Action Andretti and Darius Martin, Bullet Club Gold and Ricky Starks are ready for tonight.
Tony Schiavone brings out Ricky Starks, with the Owen Hart belt and a bag, for a chat. The fans tell him he deserves it and he certainly seems to agree. As for the bag…..there’s nothing in it but he wanted to show off what he treated himself to after he won last week. As for the controversial ending, it isn’t about how he won but how many he won, and anyone in his (Prada) shoes would do the same thing. It’s by any means necessary so talk to him about how stylish he is. He doesn’t want to be a pillar because he stands by himself and those Pillars haven’t won any Owens.
Cue CM Punk (no music) to say this is Starks’ celebration and he is only mad at himself. He’s cheated some people before and so has everyone else. Maybe if the New Jersey Devils did it before, they could have made it out of the first round. Punk says he can live with the loss, but isn’t sure if Starks can live with the win. He goes to leave, but Starks says the bag Punk has been carrying is empty, which brings Punk back.
Punk says he is the real world’s champion…but here are Christian Cage and Luchasaurus to interrupt. They are contractually obligated to be here as champion but this is taking too long. Christian says that he, er, we, are the faces of TNT but here is Darby Allin to interrupt. Allin promises to become the new face of TNT at All Out, though that’s a ways off. For tonight, let’s have a tag match (Allin: “Christian you don’t wrestle anymore so give me the TNT Champion.”) This was the most WWE opening since the last time WWE opened a show in their signature “talking leads to a main event” style.
Andrade El Idolo was not allowed in the building due to his actions last week.
Action Andretti/Darius Martin vs. Bullet Club Gold
The Gunns are here too. Martin takes over on Robinson to start and hands it to Andretti for the twisting crossbody. Andretti’s multiple springboard wristdrag sends Robinson down again but he’s right back with a kick to the face. A hanging neckbreaker on the floor drops Andretti and he’s sent hard into the barricade as we take a break.
Back with Andretti hitting an enziguri and diving over for the tag to Martin. Some right hands and a high crossbody get two on White, followed by Andretti’s Asai moonsault to the floor. Back in and a dropkick into a German suplex (which didn’t look great) gets two on Robinson. Andretti gets dropped though and Robinson hits the big left. The forward DDT into the Blade Runner finishes Andretti at 10:18.
Rating: C+. This was one of those matches that wasn’t about drama but rather Bullet Club Gold having to work a bit to get their momentum back after last week’s classic. There’s nothing wrong with a match like that and it worked well here without lasting too long. Andretti and Martin are fine as the young high fliers and everything worked out there.
We look at Willow Nightingale winning the Women’s Owen Hart Foundation tournament last week and then losing to Athena last night at Death Before Dishonor because Ring Of Honor isn’t about having fun.
Miro vs. Nick Comorato
Comorato jumps him from behind on the stage and sends him into the steps to start fast. Some shoulders in the corner have Miro in trouble as the match officially starts. Miro avoids a charge though and hits the jumping superkick, setting up Game Over to finish Comorato at 1:26.
Video on FTR.
Trios Titles: House Of Black vs. Acclaimed/Billy Gunn
The House of Black is defending and break up Caster’s rap to start fast. Caster gets caught in the wrong corner and Black hits him in the face for two. King drops the backsplash for two and Matthews drives Caster into the corner. Caster manages to send Matthews outside and then kicks him away, allowing the tag off to Gunn. House is cleaned but King blasts him with a clothesline, setting up Black Mass to retain the titles at 4:30.
Rating: C. This was pretty much a squash as Acclaimed and Gunn never got anything going. It was little more than destruction and that isn’t what you expect to see from them. Also, unless I missed it, there was no mention of the House Rules deal so maybe that has already been dropped.
Post match the House seems to show respect to Gunn. The House leaves and Gunn takes off his boots, leaving them in the ring to show his retirement. The Acclaimed tries to stop him but he walks off anyway.
Here is FTR for a chat about their Tag Team Title defense next week against Adam Cole and MJF. They have unfinished business with a bunch of teams but first they have to deal with these two. Wheeler gets that the fans like MJF and Cole at the moment, but he has first hand experience dealing with MJF’s lies. Harwood talks about having to get a job when he was about 14 and some of the rich kids made fun of him for having to work. He always wanted to punch them in the face but it brings him here, where people like MJF take wrestling as a joke.
We pause for a DOUBLE CLOTHESLINE chants before Harwood talks about how he doesn’t like how much of a joke MJF and Cole make wrestling. Next week, Harwood is giving them the beating he should have given those other kids. Nice job here of keeping composure when the fans were on the other side.
Video on Blood & Guts.
Skye Blue vs. Taya Valkyrie
Taya goes with the power to start and takes Blue down, allowing some kicks to the ribs. Back up and Blue gets in an armdrag but is knocked hard off the apron. Blue gets back inside and gets Blue Thunder Bombed for two as we take a break. We come back with Blue kicking away but getting caught in the ropes for the sliding German suplex. Taya hits a hard clothesline and a curb stomp finishes Blue at 8:54.
Rating: C. That was quite the surprise as Taya more or less ran through her here without much trouble. It’s a bit weird that Taya seems to be getting reheated, though I’m not sure how far that is going to take over. Blue seemed ready to move up the ladder and then she just gets beaten clean like this. Weird but ok then.
Post match Taya calls out Britt Baker for Dynamite.
Video on AR Fox.
Here’s what’s coming on various shows.
Ricky Starks/Christian Cage vs. CM Punk/Darby Allin
Luchasaurus is here too. Starks has to start with Punk and is so hesitant to get in that the referee gets to a nine count with Starks on the apron. Once inside, Starks gets rolled up twice in a row and has to get away from the GTS. Christian comes in and gets caught in an armbar, allowing Allin to come in and stay on said arm. It’s already back to Punk, with Christian having to convince Starks to come back in. Punk and Allin clean house, setting up the double dives and we take a break.
Back with Punk in trouble as Scorpio Sky is watching from the sky box. Punk gets away and brings Allin back in for the house cleaning, including a Code Red for two on Starks. Allin’s suicide dive is knocked out of the air by Luchasaurus and Cage sends him head first through the bottom of the announcers’ table. Back with Allin still in trouble but Christian misses a top rope headbutt. Starks pulls Punk off the apron though and there is no one for a diving Allin to tag.
Allin kicks christian away and it’s back to Punk to clean house, including body slams and cartwheels. A clothesline gets two on Christian and the top rope elbow gets the same. Starks blocks the GTS and hits a headbutt to really rock Punk. He’s fine enough to get over to Allin off the tag but a quick Roshambo gives Starks two. Starks takes him up top but a superplex is reversed into a super reversed DDT. Christian saves but gets pulled outside into a GTS on the floor. Luchasaurus breaks up the Coffin Drop though and Starks grabs a rollup, with rope, for the pin at 25:07.
Rating: B. Another long main event here and Starks continues his rise after last week’s big win. The interesting thing here is that he cheated again after saying it didn’t matter earlier, as he is leaning into his turn a bit more. That could be quite the thorn in Punk’s side going forward and I’m curious to see where it goes. Allin vs. Cage/Luchasaurus is already set, so the other side worked well on its own. Good match here, with the time well spent.
Overall Rating: B-. Maybe it was how much Tony Khan produced wrestling I’ve seen in the last few days but this show felt long and didn’t have nearly the same pop to it that the previous episodes have had. There was no big moment for this one and it was hurt a bit as a result. That being said, there was good wrestling throughout and it advanced enough stuff to make it worth a look. Certainly not a bad show, but the first few episodes gave it a pretty high bar.
Bullet Club Gold b. Action Andretti/Darius Martin – Blade Runner to Andretti
Miro b. Nick Comorato – Game Over
House Of Black b. Acclaimed/Billy Gunn – Black Mass to Gunn
Taya Valkyrie b. Skye Blue – Stomp
Ricky Starks/Christian Cage b. CM Punk/Darby Allin – Rollup to Allin while holding rope
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