The SmarK Rant for AEW Collision – 11.04.23
By Scott Keith on 5th November 2023
The SmarK Rant for AEW Collision – 11.04.23
Hey, the cold open promos are back! And AR Fox attacks Swerve during one of them, which is a neat twist.
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AR Fox v. Swerve Strickland
So they brawl down the ramp out of the cold open, thus robbing us of Prince Nana’s dancing, and Fox hits a dive off the ramp. Into the ring, Fox sends him to the floor again and follows with a dive, and back in for a cutter that gets two. Fox flips to the floor to escape Swerve on the apron, but Swerve slams him onto the apron, THE HARDEST PART OF THE RING. They fight on the apron again and Swerve kind of biels him into the turnbuckles and brings him back into the ring with a superplex. That gets two. Swerve takes him to the apron and drops a knee on him, and then back into the ring with the flying kick for one. They slug it out and Fox comes back with a DDT from the apron and a 450 for two. Swerve puts him down with a neckbreaker and the neck kick for two. Fox cradles for two, but Swerve gives him a running atomic drop into the top turnbuckle, and then finishes with the Swerve Stomp at 10:11. This was OK but the crowd was really, really dead for the whole thing and the match was completely lacking in momentum as a result. **1/4
Afterwards, we get a brawl with the Gates of Agony and FTR and the tag champs all getting involved.
Meanwhile, MJF cuts a very gotten-to promo on Jay White after taking the pin, and then the Bang Bang Gang decide to take Collison off this week.
Meanwhile, something with Kip Sabian, eh who cares.
The Kingdom v. Brixton Nash & James McGregor
This match is dedicated to NECK HEALTH, and the Kingdom quickly demolishes the local geeks and finish with a spike piledriver at 1:24. Afterwards, Roddy gets a surge of adrenaline and dives out of the wheelchair to deliver a flying knee, and then collapses in pain and has to be carried back to his chair again to make his exit.
Meanwhile, Mark Briscoe returns from injury and FTR offers to pull double duty and team up with him tonight. But he’s already got a tag team in mind. “I’m sorry Lexi I cannot divulge that information”. Ha.
Lance Archer v. Darby Allin
Lance immediately hurls him down, but Darby fights back, so Lance takes him to the floor with a pounce. Back in with a shoulderbreaker, but he decides to try a ropewalk and Darby tackles him to the floor and follows with a dive. But then Archer tosses him with a suplex down the ramp. Back in the ring, Archer hits him with a short clothesline and then unloads a chop in the corner. He goes for the Blackout, but Darby escapes that and makes a comeback with a stunner into a cradle for two. Darby with a coffin splash, but Archer catches him and drops him with a suplex. Archer smashes him into the turnbuckles and follows with a chokeslam, and then chokeslams onto the apron, which as you may have heard is the HARDEST PART OF THE RING. But then ref throws Jake Roberts out just because he was threatening to hit Darby with the skateboard. Really now, they don’t give Nobel Prizes for ATTEMPTED chemistry! Back in the ring, Lance continues destroying Darby and sets up another chokeslam, but Darby bites the hand and gets a Code Red for the pin at 10:00. This was just Archer squashing Darby for the whole match and then slipping on a banana peel. *1/2.And then Jake introduces his new guys…the Righteous. Oh god not these guys again. This is death. Or whatever is so lame that it’s worse than death. And Darby is so distracted by the lameness of the Righteous that Archer is able to hit a Blackout and put him down.
Meanwhile, Skye Blue clarifies that she’s always got Willow’s back, but not necessarily Kris Statlander’s back.
Meanwhile, Swerve interrupts Alex Abrahantes and offers to unmask Penta on Dynamite when they fight.
The Acclaimed join us for the 69 Day celebration, and they throw to a video tribute from MJF, and he admits that he’s starting to maybe like the Acclaimed. “Yay scissoring”. So the Acclaimed kind of ramble on and make 69 jokes and then it’s DALTON CASTLE to interrupt and this was the combination we didn’t know we needed. And then Dalton steals the 69 Trophy and SMASHES IT in a twist that has never been seen before in wrestling, ever.
AEW Trios title: The Acclaimed v. Dalton Castle & The Boys
The Boys manage to take out Billy Gunn outside, but the Acclaimed use a pinata and take over. Caster and Castle have a fun wacky sequence where they take turns missing forearms in the corner, and then Dalton takes over with a corner clothesline for two. So he tries to tear up an Acclaimed sticker but is unable to finish the job, so he drops a knee on Max for two instead. Max fights up and Dalton puts him down with a clothesline again, but Bowens gets the hot tag and they finish with the usual at 6:17. I know most of this was probably during commercial on TNT, but you missed absolutely nothing, don’t worry. *.
Meanwhile, Andrade promises to answer CJ Perry next week.
Kip Sabian & The Workhorsemen v. Mark Briscoe & Keith Lee & Dustin Rhodes
Sabian gets thrown around by the babyfaces to start, but the Sex Stallions triple-team Briscoe and Drake gets a senton for two. Briscoe with a small package on Sabian for two and he makes the hot tag to Dustin, who hits a destroyer to set up Keith Lee destroying everyone and then the froggy elbow from Mark to finish at 4:40. Just your standard Dark match. *1/2. Much like everything else on the show tonight so far.
Meanwhile, Mark Briscoe smells gold, and he’s been watching Jay White on his 70 inch plasma screen and wants a shot at him on Dynamite. Point of order, plasmas stopped being made in 2012, well before 70 inch TVs were a thing. I hope someone got fired for that blunder.
Willow Nightingale v. Emi Sakura
Nigel brings the quality dad joke while discussing Bryan Danielson’s eye injury. Game recognizes game. Willow tries to overpower her to start, but Sakura manages to take her to the floor and runs her into the stairs. Back in, Emi with the running crossbody in the corner for two. Emi beats on her with chops and chokes her out on the ropes. They head to the floor and Emi whips her into the railing a few times, but Willow comes back with a death valley driver on the floor. Back in with a missile dropkick for two. Sakura counters the powerbomb into a cradle for two, but Sakura gets a neckbreaker for the double down. Emi with more chops and she tries a running chop, but Willow catches her with a spinebuster and then finishes with the doctorbomb at 10:00. Best match of the show thus far for sure. ***
Meanwhile, Samoa Joe celebrates becoming the longest reigning ROH TV champion and he’s still offering his services to MJF with no answer yet. But one person who does answer is Keith Lee, and apparently it’s the MEAT DIVISION on Dynamite again. This show hasn’t been setting the world on fire but it’s sure setting the table for a banger of a Dynamite.
Ricky Starks & Big Bill & The Gates of Agony v. FTR & Rush & Preston Vance
Vance and Bill slug it out in the corner and Bill puts him down with a lariat and it’s over to Bischoff Khan, who beats on Cash in the corner. FTR double-teams him for two, so Tea Leoni comes in and drops a headbutt on Dax for two. Dax fights back with chops and then gets walloped with a forearm. Over to Ricky, but Dax takes him down and tries for a Sharpshooter, but Starks makes the ropes. So Rush comes in and destroys Starks on the floor as time stands still and he hits with force ten. Then everyone brawls outside and it’s back in as Dax goes back to beating on Starks in the corner. But Dax misses a charge and hits the post, allowing Big Bill to drop elbows to take over. This allows Ricky Starks to join us on commentary for a bit, but Rush gets a hot tag and dropkicks Ricky in the corner and powerslams him for two. Rush and Vance double-team Ricky with a slam for two. Toa cuts it off with a samoan drop on Vance, and then Bill follows with a chokeslam and he takes out FTR with a double clothesline. Everyone with the big moves and Rush finishes Kaun with the shotgun dropkick at 14:43. This was fine. ***. And then the House of Black appears on the big screen and threatens FTR before mysteriously appearing in the ring and beating them down, before the BCC saves to end the show. I continue to not really understand the point of what they’re doing with Bill & Starks as tag champs. They keep going round and round setting up stuff with FTR and House of Black and BCC and nothing really ever pays off.
This was very clearly a setup show for Dynamite but MAN was it a boring slog to get through on its own. Last week at least had a killer main event to save the show, but this was just a bunch of matches with another dead crowd. The promotion needs SOMETHING to juice it again and make people excited, and this sure wasn’t it. Easy skip this week.