Collision – September 23, 2023
By Thomas Hall on 23rd September 2023
Date: September 23, 2023
Location: Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Commentators: Kevin Kelly, Nigel McGuinness
It’s time to wrap up another very busy week for AEW and it’s going to get even busier next week with WrestleDream. For now though, we have a big card with Ricky Starks vs. Bryan Danielson in a Texas Deathmatch and a triple threat match for the TNT Title. That should make for a nice night so let’s get to it.
Darby Allin, Christian Cage, Luchasaurus, Ricky Starks and Bryan Danielson are ready to fight.
TNT Title: Christian Cage vs. Darby Allin vs. Luchasaurus
Luchasaurus is defending but Cage has all but said this is a handicap match against Allin. For a bonus, Sting is barred from ringside. They start fast with Allin throwing powder at Luchasaurus and knocking Cage outside for a dive. Back in and Code Red gets two on Cage, followed by a dive onto Luchasaurus. Cage knocks Allin off the apron though and the beating is on, with Luchasaurus sending in a chair.
Back in and Cage chokes Allin on the chair and Luchasaurus suplexes Allin, with the chair flying away as well. Cage doesn’t like Luchasaurus going for the cover…and then gets a near fall of his own. Everyone goes outside and Allin is whipped hard into the steps as we take a break.
Back with Luchasaurus being sent outside so Cage can miss a spear in the corner. Allin and Cage trade rollups until Allin hits a Death Drop. The Coffin Drop to the floor hits both villains but Allin has t flip out of a chokeslam inside. The flipping Stunner works a bit better for Allin so Cage brings in the title. The shot misses so Allin dropkicks him into the corner.
One heck of a chokeslam cuts Allin down though and Luchasaurus FINALLY gets to pick up the title. Cage says hand it over and, after some yelling, gets what he wants. Allin rams them into each other though and belts Luchasaurus in the head for two. The Coffin Drop connects but Cage sends Allin outside and steals the pin on Luchasaurus for the title at 10:03.
Rating: B. That’s an interesting way to go, as so much of the appeal of Cage and Luchasaurus’ act was about Cage holding the title without being champion. At the same time, this might be a step too far for Luchasaurus, who certainly liked holding the title for a little while. That being said, as usual this was about Allin bouncing all over the place like a rubber ball and it made or a heck of a performance. Good match, and they advance the Cage/Luchasaurus story in a big way.
Post match Luchasaurus doesn’t look happy but gets a hug before having to carry Cage on his shoulders.
We look at Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega uniting to go after the Don Callis Family.
The Don Callis Family thinks Omega and Jericho teaming with Kota Ibushi will make Omega weak. They’ve got a third family member and it’s….Will Ospreay. The match is set for WrestleDream. Well that’s big.
Christian Cage talks about how he has always been the undisputed champion and dedicates it to Nick Wayne’s parents. He’s happy to be done with Darby Allin, but Tony Khan has announced Cage vs. Allin, 2/3 falls for WrestleDream.
Rob Van Dam/Hook vs. Angelo Parker/Matt Menard
Jake Hager and Anna Jay are here with Parker and Menard. Hook takes Menard down to start but it’s quickly off to Parker. Van Dam comes in and easily drops Parker, followed by a rollup for two on Menard. The springboard kick to the face sends Parker outside, giving us the YOU’VE STILL GOT IT chant as we take a break.
Back with Hook not being able to get over for the tag so he settles for a suplex to Parker. The tag brings Van Dam back in to kick away, setting up Rolling Thunder for two on Parker with Menard having to make the save. Hager tries to bring in the chair but gets Van Daminatored. Hook pulls Parker into Redrum and the Five Star Frog Splash finishes Menard at 8:20.
Rating: C+. The match wasn’t great but what mattered here was getting Van Dam in there again for a nostalgia moment. Van Dam is still more than good enough to have an eight minute tag match and looked perfectly fine in there. Menard and Parker losing isn’t a big deal so this went about as well as it could have or a quick moment.
We look at Eddie Kingston winning the ROH World Title and now he’s going to defend it (plus the New Japan Strong Openweight Title) against Katsuyori Shibata at WrestleDream.
The Dark Order wants you.
The Kingdom don’t like the Best Friends for not keeping their friends NECK STRONG. Next week, it’s piledrivers in support of neck health.
Julia Hart vs. Kiera Hogan
Brody King is here with Hart and Hogan is taking an injured Willow Nightingale’s place. Hogan starts fast with a running hip attack against the rope but gets pulled down by the hair. A suplex lets Hart hammer away but Hogan is back up with some shots to the head. Hart knocks her down again and hits a standing moonsault to set up the chinlock. The sliding clothesline to the back of the head sets up Hartless to make Hogan tap at 3:35.
Rating: C. This was about as good as it was going to get as Hogan hasn’t been treated anything special and the real fight is with Nightingale. Hart gets to be built up a little more before the showdown. The match was little more than a squash and now we can get to the Nightingale match, whenever it happens.
Post match Hart goes after Hogan again until Skye Blue tries for the save. That earns Blue (who Hart beat last night) the mist so King can challenge Kris Statlander for the TBS Title at WrestleDream.
We look at the Righteous becoming #1 contenders to the Ring Of Honor Tag Team Titles.
The Righteous walk through a garden and act all creepy, because that’s a totally new concept in wrestling.
Andrade El Idolo vs. Jay White
The rest of Bullet Club Gold is here with White. Andrade powers him into the corner to start and grabs a headlock. A shot off the top looks to set up Three Amigos but White slips out of the third. That’s fine with Andrade, who dropkicks him off the ropes and out to the floor. Back in and White knocks Andrade to the floor for a change and we take a break. Back with White taking him down for some shots to the chest.
They chop it out until Andrade snaps off some dragon screw legwhips. A flying forearm sends White into the corner and then out to the floor. Andrade hits a big moonsault onto the Club (and lands on his feet), followed by the double moonsault for two back inside. White knocks him outside and hits a swinging Rock Bottom for two, followed by a quickly broken chinlock.
Back up and Andrade drops him for two, setting up the running knees in the corner. The hammerlock DDT gets two as Juice Robinson puts a foot on the rope. A Figure Four keeps White in trouble and Andrade bridges up into the Figure Eight. That’s enough to bring in the Club for the distraction, allowing Robinson to deck Andrade. The Blade Runner finishes for White at 16:23.
Rating: B. These two had a heck of a match as this was Andrade being motivated and working hard in there to look good. At the same time though, White is on a roll right now and it’s cool to see him getting a big win like this one. This was rather awesome and I could go for more of both of them.
Ortiz talks about how Mike Santana has used him for years. Then Santana ran from his problems, but he won’t be able to run much longer.
Shane Taylor is made at Keith Lee leaving him in ROH, but Taylor became a legend there anyway. If he has to put Lee in the ground to take care of his kids, so be it. First though, Lee can face Lee Moriarty.
Tag Team Titles: FTR vs. Workhorsemen
FTR is defending and Aussie Open is on commentary. Wheeler and Henry take turns going to the mat with neither getting much of an advantage. Drake comes in to miss an elbow and it’s Harwood coming in to try a running shoulder. A running shot puts Harwood down for two and it’s back to Henry. That’s fine with Harwood, who plants him with a brainbuster. Drake cuts Wheeler off though and hits a Cannonball on Harwood. A moonsault gives Drake two and a forearm rocks Harwood again. Drake tries a middle rope hurricanrana but gets slammed out of the air. The Sharpshooter retains the titles at 4:34.
Rating: C+. This didn’t have time to go very far and that is about as good of an idea as they had here. No one was buying the Workhorsemen (though that moonsault was good) when the Aussies were already on commentary and talking about WrestleDream. I can go with these short form FTR title defenses, as having them go this long with teams like the Workhorsemen, who barely ever win anything, is a bit of a stretch.
Post match the Aussies get in the ring to talk about how they’re having this match to show they’re still the team that took FTR to the limit last year. That’s cool with Harwood, who wants the baddest team to come after them. Top guys out.
CJ (not Perry) is here to make her husband Miro a champion again but he’s preoccupied. Miro comes in to say CJ is his temptation. She talks about liking the challenge of guiding people, but she doesn’t need Miro to save her. It seems she’s going to find someone else to manage. Just stay away from her future clients. Miro walks off without saying anything.
Here’s what’s coming on various shows.
Video on WrestleDream.
Ricky Starks vs. Bryan Danielson
Texas Deathmatch (Last Man Standing) and there is no Big Bill for a change. They go right at it to start with Danielson sending him outside for a dive. Starks gets crotched on the barricade and they fight into the crowd. Back to ringside and Starks sends him into the crowd again, setting up a big dive to talk out a pair of guards.
We take a break and come back with Starks sending him into the announcers’ table over and over. Starks cracks him in the knee with a chair and then drives it into the ribs. Danielson is busted open so Starks goes after the cut, which just fired Danielson up. Starks drops him again though and we take another break.
Back again with Starks hitting a spear and choking Danielson out with a chain. That’s good for nine but another spear is countered into the LeBell Lock. Danielson chokes with the chain as well but Starks fires up. Danielson elbow shim in the head over and over, followed by a running knee to send a chair into Starks’ face. Starks is bused open and Danielson stomps away. The running knee, with chain, finishes Stark at 20:06.
Rating: B. These two work well together and that should wrap up the feud, which never saw Starks beat Danielson in a singles match. For now though, it was a good fight with Danielson elevating Starks up a good bit. Danielson seems to be on his retirement tour though and if that means running someone over, it’s likely going to happen.
Post match Wheeler Yuta and Big Bill come out to check on their friends and almost get in a fight to end the show.
Overall Rating: B. This was a stacked card and it mostly delivered with a trio of solid matches. I had a good time with the show and the White vs. Andrade match was a treat. They also rapid fired the build towards WrestleDream, which certainly needed it with about a week to go before the show. They might want to work on that in the future, but I have no reason to believe they actually will. For now though, rather strong Collision here, though I’m not sure they’re going to be able to have this strong of a card every week.
Christian Cage b. Luchasaurus and Darby Allin – Coffin Drop to Luchasaurus
Rob Van Dam/Hook b. Matt Menard/Angelo Parker – Five Star Frog Splash to Menard
Julia Hart b. Kiera Hogan – Hartless
Jay White b. Andrade El Idolo – Blade Runner
FTR b. Workhorsemen – Sharpshooter to Drake
Bryan Danielson b. Ricky Starks – Running knee with a chain around the leg
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