The SmarK Rant for AEW Collision – 08.12.23
By Scott Keith on 12th August 2023
The SmarK Rant for AEW Collision – 08.12.23
Fair warning: I’m on vacation for another week. You know what that means.
Live from Greensboro, NC
Your hosts are Ian Riccaboni & Nigel McGuinness. Ian’s been so good in this role that I kind of hope they keep him around when Kevin Kelly returns from Japan.
Tony Schiavone kicks things off (because he’s got nothing better on the weekends according to Dynamite) and Ricky Starks is our first guest. He’s still carrying Steamboat’s belt around from last week, but Tony informs him that he’s SUSPENDED for a month for being a jerkass. But he’s got a manager’s license and he’s going to make CM Punk’s life miserable while he waits to come back. Well there’s your finish for the main event tonight.
Meanwhile, we recap the FTR-Bucks feud leading up to All In.
The Acclaimed v. Iron Savages
Bowens’ sad realization that there is no Daddy Ass here to scissor is heartbreaking. Also heartbreaking is the sudden departure from the Bear lifestyle for the former Bear Mountain. Guess they couldn’t bear it any longer? And the announcers make no effort to address this in case you happen to be a viewer who already knew them from their other gimmick. The Acclaimed do their basic squash formula until Boulder catches them both with a slam to take over. Boulder gives Caster a pitstop in the corner and Bronson teases a standing moonsault but then just sits on Max for two. Apparently they have a manager named Jack Jamison on the floor who is leading the team and I feel like I missed an entire chapter of a novel here. Like was their gimmick change on a show somewhere like ROH? It doesn’t really matter but this is the kind of thing where AEW is lazy about just swapping guys in and out without much in the way of explanation. Bowens gets the hot tag and runs wild on Bronson, but they try some kind of electric chair double-team where Boulder puts his own partner on his shoulders, but Caster comes in with a dropkick to knock them over and then this Jamison guy takes Scissor Me Timbers. And they finish with double fameassers at 8:41. This absolutely should have been a quick squash instead of the dull Dark-level match we got. **. And why would I possibly care about some team that’s always been presented as enhancement guys on the YouTube shows at best, suddenly repackaged into a new team with a new wrestler they don’t even bother to explain? And then they lose again anyway! I dunno, this kind of stuff really bugs me. At least give the geeks a win on the show before feeding them to the Acclaimed if you want it to mean anything. Also I’m struggling to figure out what the point of making the Acclaimed really depressing is supposed to be.
Meanwhile, the Bang Bang Gang claim to be the most ELITE version of Bullet Club ever, and the Gunns are coming to Dynamite to prove it to the Bucks.
Kris Statlander & Willow Nightingale v. Diamante & Mercedes Martinez
Mercedes and Diamante is a good combo. Stat beats on Diamante with kicks and tries a powerslam, but Diamante reverses her to an armdrag to take her down. So Willow comes in and beats on Diamante, but Mercedes helps Diamante avoid the pounce and the heels take over. Diamante with a splash for two and Mercedes works on Willow with a Paradise Lock, but luckily they dropkick her to break the hold so that Willow isn’t trapped in the ring for all eternity. They take Willow to the corner and double-team her there before Diamante wraps her up with a straitjacket hold. Diamante with a suplex for two as this has been a pretty dull heat segment, but Willow comes back with a slam on the heels and makes the hot tag to Kris. She runs wild with dropkicks on the heels and they hit double sentons. Willow goes up and gets knocked off and Diamante tosses Statlander, and then Mercedes throws Diamante onto the babyfaces on the floor. Back in the ring, Martinez gets a fallaway slam on Willow, but Willow pops up and pounces her. Diamante has some very spicy language for Willow for some reason, and the heels team up for a rope-assisted pin on Willow at 9:00. I don’t really get what beating Willow yet again accomplishes. Match was OK but didn’t have much heat and kind of fell apart at the end. **
Meanwhile, Toni Storm is still upset about how life is going lately, but at least she’s got a spot in All In. But then the interview ends badly and Toni spits on Lexi and threatens to have her thrown out. Women, am I right?
Samoa Joe v. Andrew Everett
In some Canadian TV weirdness for you, the Twisted Metal show with Joe that’s exclusive to Peacock in the US is carried by Paramount Plus here in Canada. So I thought I couldn’t check the show out, but I guess I can. Not sure if it’s worth my time but I’m done with Strange New Worlds now (NOT carried on Paramount Plus in Canada, by the way, despite being Paramount’s biggest property) and I need another show to start. Everett tries a springboard move and Joe walks away from it and lays him out before choking him out at 1:24. Just another Joe squash. *. Afterwards, Joe demands an answer for his challenge but he’s being met with a COWARD. And he’s going to come after Punk as a result, tonight. Well that’s two people after Punk tonight.
Christian Cage joins us and accuses the North Carolina crowd of all being related to each other, and talks about all the second best people to come out of the state. Like Michael Jordan, the second best basketball player of all time. I only know him from baseball anyway. Also Christian is better than Ric Flair, who I guess would be the second best wrestler of all time after him. So he tells Darby Allin that as long as the TNT title is in “his possession” Darby will never touch it, which earns him a look from Luchasaurus. So then Arn Anderson and his 45 year old son Brock Anderson interrupt, as Arn reminds the dinosaur that he’s the actual champion. So I guess we have an impromptu match.
TNT title: Luchasaurus v. Brock Anderson
Brock attacks and Luchasaurus beats him down in the corner and tosses him. Back in, Luchasaurus with a chokeslam and he chokes Brock out in the corner and then beats him down with kicks and grabs a hold. Luchasaurus with the nerve pinch as he continues squashing Brock and adds a bad looking suplex before going back to the neck again. Brock makes a comeback and slugs away, but Luchasaurus chokeslams him again and then hits him with a clothesline to the back for the pin at 5:24. Brock literally didn’t even get a single move in here. DUD. Way too long for what it was. Consider yourself lucky that you probably missed Brock botching all his stuff during the PIP break. But then Darby Allin attacks afterwards and challenges Christian for next week. This building two PPVs at the same time thing is not advisable. Also we have two different Darby matches hyped up but nothing for Orange Cassidy yet?
Powerhouse Hobbs joins us, and he’s had no peace for the past few months, so he went home and found the Book of Hobbs, which has told him to call out the Redeemer so he can get Redemption. I don’t think that’s going to lead him to any more peace. So Miro comes out to answer, but the QTV geeks attack him. Miro fights them off, but Hobbs hits Miro with a spinebuster to lay him out. This left me more confused than anything else.
AEW World Trios titles: The House of Black v. CMFTR
Punk starts with Buddy and gets nowhere, so Cash comes in and FTR double-teams him. Dax with a snap suplex for one, and it’s over to Brody. Brody beats on Dax with chops, but Brody gets triple-teamed by CMFTR and Malakai rallies his troops on the floor. Back in the ring, Black has a showdown with Punk and they trade takedowns on the mat before Black hits him with a knee strike. Punk tries the GTS and Black escapes from that and we get a stalemate. Everyone slugs it out and then brawls on the floor as business starts to pick up and FTR runs guys into the railing. Back in the ring, Punk uses his MMA skillset (snort) to take Black down and pound him out, before whipping him into the corner to allow CMFTR to take over. They take turns dropping the leg, brother, and Cash gets two off that, but Dax gets trapped in the heel corner as Buddy puts him down with a back elbow. Dax tries a slingshot shoulderblock, but Buddy turns that into a draping DDT to counter and it’s back to Brody King. Black with a chinlock on Dax after some punishment from Brody, and they double-team Dax in the corner and work him over some more. Black puts Dax down with a PK for two. Dax fires back with a DDT on Black and makes the hot tag to Punk, and he runs wild with a neckbreaker on Buddy for two. Buddy escapes the GTS, so Punk hits him with the Pepsi Twist, but he goes up for the elbow and Black crotches him to bring him down. Brody with the cannonball and Punk bails to the floor to sell that, so Brody follows him out there tosses him into the front row. Back in, Buddy holds Punk up so Black can get some kicks in, and Black drops a knee for two. Buddy with a chinlock in the corner, but Punk hits the GTS out of nowhere and Buddy bumps to the floor off that. Hot tag Cash and he throws dropkicks on Brody in the corner and slugs away before FTR sends the House to the floor and Cash hits them with a dive. Back in the ring with a bulldog on Brody for two. Brody counters a double suplex with a sort of DDT on both FTR and goes up, but Dax cuts him off. This sets up a double superplex from FTR into a flying elbow from Punk, and that gets two. Brody takes the Shatter Machine, but Buddy flies in with the knees on Cash and everyone trades big moves for a double down. Punk heads to the floor again with a dive, at which point Joe arrives through the crowd and chokes him out on the floor, and Brody finishes Dax with a lariat to retain at 27:11. The camera missed ALL of that and really left the finish feeling flat. The whole match felt shockingly flat, in fact, as these guys had what I would call surprisingly little chemistry together and the match probably could have stood to have 10 minutes chopped off. It was good but not much more than that. ***1/4.
Most of these Collision shows have been great, but this one was definitely not. Once again too many squashes and meaningless filler matches leave much of the episode feeling like it’s Dark/Elevation level stuff, and especially after getting creamed by Summerslam last week that’s not really what the show can afford to feel like moving forward. In the buildup to the “biggest even in wrestling history” this felt like a complete treadmill episode and was completely skippable. The Starks promo was great and the main event was good but the rest isn’t worth your time at all.