Collision – September 30, 2023
By Thomas Hall on 1st October 2023
Date: September 30, 2023
Location: Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle, Washington
Commentators: Kevin Kelly, Nigel McGuinness
It’s the go home show for WrestleDream and that should make for a pretty big show. Collision has been in a weird place in recent months but maybe they can do better with some focus. The main event is another all star eight person tag, which might be their norm for go home shows. Let’s get to it.
Big Bill, Aussie Open, Ricky Starks, Wheeler Yuta, Bryan Danielson and FTR are ready to fight.
Andrade El Idolo vs. Juice Robinson
The Gunns are here with Robinson. They go right at it to start but Andrade can’t get the Figure Four. Robinson bails to the floor but Andrade throws him back inside for Three Amigos. A moonsault to the floor takes out all three villains but Robinson manages to send Andrade into the announcers’ table. The Gunns get in some stomping behind the referee’s back, allowing Robinson to hit a neckbreaker for two.
Robinson elbows him down again but Andrade is back up with some right hands in the corner. That earns him a drop onto the buckle and a Cannonball as we take a break. Back with Andrade fighting out of a chinlock and dropping Robinson. The double moonsault hits raised knees but Andrade is fine enough to send him face first into the buckle.
For some reason the referee breaks up the running knees in the corner, allowing Robinson to hit the big left. A layout powerbomb gives Robinson two but Andrade hiptosses him hard into the corner. The running knees connect this time but the Gunns try to interfere again. This time they’re caught immediately though and it’s a double ejection. Andrade hits the spinning elbow for two and the hammerlock DDT finishes Robinson at 13:25.
Rating: B. The resurrection of Andrade has been one of the great things about Collision, as he has gone from just someone on the roster without much going on to having a string of pretty awesome matches around here. I’m not sure if he’s just looking to get WWE’s attention the second his contract is up, but he’s been a gem around here.
Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega are excited to team together, even though they don’t like each other. They’ll have their backs tonight and tomorrow when they face the Don Callis Family.
We get more of the Toni Storm: Portrait Of A Star promo, with Storm insisting that she’s good to talk right now. Storm says her peak is right now but she misses the old days where a pie in the ace was good enough (I’m not sure if that’s a reference to why she left WWE but if it is….it’s a weird one). She accuses the interviewer of coming on to her by holding her hand (which she grabbed) and asks if she’s good enough for him.
The Kingdom vs. Best Friends
The fight starts before the bell with the threat of stereo piledrivers sending the Kingdom bailing to the floor. Trent chops at Bennett to start and it’s off to Chuck for a belly to back suplex. Taven comes in with a missile dropkick to Trent and everything breaks down, with Trent hitting a slingshot dive to Taven. Bennett avoids a charge though and sends Bennett into the barricade.
Trent is sent into a chair and we take a break. Back with Trent coming in to clean house until Taven gets in a shot to the back of the head. Just The Tip gets two on Trent as everything breaks down again. Trent hits a Death Valley Driver to sent Bennett into the steps and a Doomsday knee connects back inside. Rather than cover, we get the Big Hug, followed by the stereo piledrivers…for two on Bennett. With the referee distracted, Bennett punches them both low and a spike piledriver finishes Trent at 9:27.
Rating: C. And that’s the AEW style for you, as dropping someone on his head on the steps, hitting a top rope knee on him and then giving him a piledriver in about a minute gets two. The Death Valley Driver could have been pulled out from the match and it would have only lost an OOO, but that’s just what happens in AEW. Granted the Best Friends losing makes things a bit better, but I really wish someone could get rid of those ridiculous kickouts after big sequences of moves.
Post math the Kingdom pulls out their suitcases because they’re on their way back to Roderick Strong’s bedside.
Don Callis and Prince Nana are found talking in the back. Callis walks away and Nana talks about digging deep into the universe and finding something unique. He implies a big payday if the Gates Of Agony beat Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega.
Julia Hart has a creepy vignette involving masks hanging from strings and promising to end Kris Statlander.
Julia Hart vs. Vertvixen
Hart forearms her down to start and chokes on the rope a bit. A flipping elbow in the corner hits Vertvixen again but Hart misses a charge. Not that it matters as a kick to the chest and the moonsault finish Vertvixen at 2:45. Just a quick win before the title match tomorrow.
Post match Hart calls out Kris Statlander for right now so here she is. Then Hart backs off, leaving Statlander to say Hart’s time is up at WrestleDream.
Claudio Castagnoli has issued a challenge for WrestleDream and Josh Barnett answered.
Chris Jericho/Kenny Omega vs. Gates Of Agony
Toa headbutts Jericho into the corner to start and Kaun nails him with a clothesline for two. A kick to the face gets Jericho out of trouble though and it’s Omega…well not coming in actually as he rams Toa’s head into the buckle from the apron a bunch of times. Then he comes in with a high crossbody and joins with Jericho fr a double suplex (they look at each other in shock that they seem to work well together in a funny moment).
Prince Nana offers a distraction though and Toa knocks Omega into Jericho for a crash out to the floor. That leaves Kaun to suplex Omega for two, followed by a Backstabber into a running elbow in the corner. We take a break and come back with Omega managing a hurricanrana to Kaun, allowing the tag to Jericho. A top rope elbow puts Kaun down and the Lionsault connects. The Walls are broken up though and a gutbuster gives Kaun two on Jericho. Omega makes the save and now the Walls can make Kaun tap at 11:49.
Rating: B-. This was more of a cool moment than anything else, but Jericho and Omega do feel like something of a dream team. I could go for them being in the big match on their own without Kota Ibushi but at least we got to see them on their own once. Good match here, and it’s not like the Gates have much of a status to lose.
Post match Omega and Jericho say this is about Don Callis. Omega has seen the light and it is going to take more than a vicious attack for him to turn his back on his friends. Ibushi takes that kind of an attack as an invitation. Jericho is ready for Sammy Guevara and quotes Judas to prove it. Vengeance is promised to wrap up a promo that went a bit long.
Video on the Righteous.
Video on Darby Allin vs. Christian Cage, with Allin suggesting that the match will be the main event of WrestleDream.
Righteous vs. Judas Icarus/Travis Williams
Williams gets beaten up to start so it’s quickly off to Icarus. Dutch chops him down and adds one to Williams on the apron as well. Autumn Sunshine finishes Icarus at 1:52.
Post match Vincent tells Dutch to look at all the paper people in the crowd. They’ll win the ROH Tag Team Titles at WrestleDream and leave the Devil on one hoof, like his partner. Dutch whips out a block of wood and they crush Icarus’ ankles.
Video on Eddie Kingston vs. Katsuyori Shibata.
TMDK is ready to win the Trios Titles but the Acclaimed and Billy Gunn interrupt. Shane Haste wants to do his own right and it’s not so good.
Bryan Danielson/FTR/Wheeler Yuta vs. Aussie Open/Ricky Starks/Big Bill
Zack Sabre Jr. is on commentary. Starks bails from Yuta to start so Fletcher comes in instead. Yuta and Fletcher take turns working on the arms until Yuta scores with a dropkick. Harwood comes in and gets to face Davis for a bit of a power showdown. Everything breaks down and it’s a big staredown on the floor. Back with Harwood suplexing Fletcher and flipping over to Cash for the tag.
House is cleaned until Cash and Fletcher take turns escaping suplexes. It’s back to Yuta for a top rope forearm, followed by a bridging German suplex for two on Fletcher. Yuta’s elbows rock Starks but Bill offers a distraction to break them up. A big boot puts Yuta in more trouble and Starks drops an elbow for two. The seated abdominal stretch keeps Yuta down until he can hiptoss his way to freedom. The Aussies come in for a toss sitout powerbomb and we take another break.
Back again with Yuta and Starks down but Yuta makes it over for the tag back to Danielson. The strikes in the corner have Starks falling down rather quickly, but he’s back up to miss a spear. Danielson scores with the suicide dive into a missile dropkick. Starks clotheslines his way out of trouble and the tornado DDT puts Danielson down. Bill comes in but the chokeslam is countered into the LeBell Lock.
Everything breaks down and the villains are left on their knees for a long series of YES Kicks. A missile dropkick into a top rope headbutt gets two on Bill but all of his partners make a save. The fight heads to the floor and Danielson is sent into the steps, leaving Bill to miss a charge into the post. The Sharpshooter is blocked and Starks spears Harwood for the pin at 19:39.
Rating: B. This is an idea that has worked forever in wrestling and it worked well here too. They tied a bunch of pay per view matches together into one here, with commentary even adding in another, and that makes for a very efficient use of time. It also lets you get some cool pairings you might not see very often and the action was still quite good. This was a smart idea and it wound up working very well.
Post match the big brawl is on until Zack Sabre Jr. stands up. He comes into the ring for the staredown with Danielson before slapping him in the face. Danielson slaps him back and tries the LeBell Lock but Sabre Jr. bails to end the show.
Overall Rating: B. Once we got past the opening matches, which had nothing to do with WrestleDream, this turned into a pretty by the book go home show. In this case, that’s the best thing they could have done as they made me a bit more interested in a show that hadn’t given me much reason to care coming in. WrestleDream should be good, but as usual, the build hasn’t been much until the very last minute. Strong show here, and it’s the one they needed.
Andrade El Idolo b. Juice Robinson – Hammerlock DDT
The Kingdom b. Best Friends – Spike piledriver to Taylor
Julia Hart b. Vertfixen – Moonsault
Chris Jericho/Kenny Omega b. Gates Of Agony – Walls Of Jericho to Kaun
Righteous b. Judas Icarus/Travis Williams – Autumn Sunshine to Icarus
Ricky Starks/Big Bill/Aussie Open b. Wheeler Yuta/Bryan Danielson/FTR – Spear to Harwood
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