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AEW Collison - July 8, 2023

by Doc Allen

Samoa Joe

Live from the Brandt Centre in Regina, Saskatchewan. WrestleTix estimates attendance at 1,944. Our hosts are Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness.

CM Punk comes out to air his dirty laundry regarding Samoa Joe. Punk puts over everyone in the tournament and leads the fans in an Owen Hart chant. Punk can't promise that he'll beat Samoa Joe but does vow to leave it all in the ring. Usually that verbiage means there's a nonfinish on the horizon.

Owen Hart Foundation Tournament:
Powerhouse Hobbs (with The Factory) vs. Ricky Starks

This is the rubber match between two former tag partners. They spar until Ricky hits a clothesline to outside. QT advises Hobbs to decapitate Starks, so he does. Hobbs takes over with Methodical Heel Offense and QT interferes when convenient. Hobbs seems to injure Starsk' lower back with a hard Irish whip. Back from commercials, Starks is fading from a bear hug, but manages to punch his way to freedom. Hobbs tries an avalanche Samoan Drop, but Ricky reverses into a powerbomb! Starks misses a springboard and tweaks his back, hits a DDT anyway. QT grabs the boots, allowing Hobbs to nail a spinebuster. Ref is too busy arguing with QT to count. Starks knocks Hobbs into QT and hits a spear to win at 11:02 to a nice pop. This match seems to be targeting the key Grumpy Old Man demo that AEW is missing, but it got over with the live crowd, so what do I know? **½.
Winner: Ricky Starks

Hobbs loses his temper and knocks QT down, which should be considered a good career move. Aaron Solo tries to talk some sense into the Powerhouse and eats a spinebuster for his troubles. Harley Cameron rushes in to shield QT, and Hobbs decides he's done enough.

Miro hangs out in a candlelit room. Nobody can hurt the man who has nothing left to love. He must be the man his god was not.

Tony Shiavone interviews Willow Nightingale, who is disappointed after getting injured in Japan. ROH Women's Champion Athena interrupts to accuse Willow of faking an injury rather than lose to her. Willow plans on finding her smile in time for Rampage.

Hype video for Blood and Guts in Boston.

Julia Hart (with Brody King) vs.Bambi Hall

Hart lip syncs her music on her way to the ring, which is a bold move. The jobber has some size over Julia and backs her into the buckles. Julia throws some kicks but eats a shoulder block. Julia trips Bambi and goes berserk with head shots. Julia gets caught playing with her food and Bambi makes a brief comeback. Julia applies “Hart-less” to win at 2:31. Dull squash and a lackluster showcase for Julia.
Winner: Julia Hart

Video package building up Andrade El Idolo vs. Malakai Black over Andrade's stolen mask. Black seems to have a deeper agenda regarding the mask and sees it as a metaphor for lies and other psychological mumbo jumbo. Cut to Andrade in the flesh, he pretends to not care about the mask because he's a businessman, but then lists all the reasons why he actually does care very much about the mask. This feud is quickly losing me.

Eliminator Match:
Bullet Club Gold (Jay White and Juice Robinson) vs. AEW Tag Team Champions FTR (Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood)

Dax gets into White's face and forces a quick break. Dax controls the pace and flusters White until he crawls into a tag. Juice is reluctant to grapple with Cash and soon eats a fireman's carry. Juice hits some shoulder tackles but Cash answers with a wild monkey flip. Juice might have hurt his neck and quickly tags out. The match breaks down into a pub brawl and FTR hit stereo German suplexes. Back from commercials, Bullet Club has taken control and is working Dax over. Someone whispers to Dax that they're back from ads, so he comes back with chops. Cash tags in for an assisted leg drop for 2. Atomic drop by Cash, but Jay's interference allows Juice to hang him on the ropes. White sneakily slams Cash onto the apron. Bullet Club trap Cash with swarming attacks to the spine. Jay baits Dax into interfering and throws him against the stairs. Juice distracts the ref from Cash's desperation schoolboy, and White hits an exploder into the buckles. Cash counters into a crossbody on Jay, but Juice attacks Dax to prevent a hot tag. This is starting to feel like a handicap match. Back from MORE commercials, Dax gets the conveniently timed hot tag and slams Juice onto Jay. Dax gives Jay some rolling Germans and a brainbuster for 2. Fans chant “This is awesome!” Juice runs interference so Cash gives him a back suplex onto the ring frame. Dax superplexes White into position for Wheeler's frog splash, but JAY KICKS OUT! Juice cheap shots Cash, allowing Jay to hit a half n half suplex. Dax returns, Juice breaks up the Big Rig. In the following chaos, Dax blind tags in for a doomsday piledriver, but Robinson breaks the pin! Fans chant "This is awesome" again. Blind tags are made, Juice gives Dax a gutbuster, serving him up Jay's Regalplex for another 2 count (based on the reaction, they may have missed the crescendo). FTR block a double suplex, but Jay hits a pair of Uranages. Dax no-sells for a rebound sitout powerbomb for 2! KO uppercut by Dax also gets 2. Dax runs into Juice's ax kick, but Cash helps with a power slam. Blade Runner on Cash! Dax and Jay stumble up to exchange elbows. Jay dropkicks the knee and fires chops. Juice blind tags for a DDT and White holds Cash back for the pinfall at 28:12! Epic tag team war that delivered some incredible false finishes before overstaying and ending on a bit of a thud. The rematch should be absolute fire though, ****¼.
Winners: Bullet Club Gold.

Video package reminding us that Christian Cage is hogging Luchasaurus' TNT title reign and that Canada's own Shawn Spears would like to do something about it.

Tony Shiavone congratulates FTR for a helluva match that didn't end the way they wanted. Bullet Club Gold stumble in and proclaim themselves to be the best tag team in the world. They challenge FTR to a 2 / 3 Falls Match for next Collision.

Scorpio Sky vs. Action Andretti

Andretti, the guy who beat Jericho this past winter, is back to being a jobber waiting in the ring with no televised entrance. Sky is getting his sixth or seventh singles push after missing some time with injury. They feel each other out, trading arm drags. Sky hits a leaping double stomp to the spine. Back from commercials, Andretti enjoys a polite little comeback sequence. He hits a back handspring into Sky's knees, but then acts like he hit the move and scores a tope suicida. Maybe I'm missing something, who knows. Andretti hits a standing Spanish Fly for 2. Shotgun dropkick by Andretti, but Sky blocks the Split Legged Moonsault. Sky hits a TKO to win at 7:28. Fine match, but Sky is not the guy I'd be investing in between these two, **¼.
Winner: Scorpio Sky

Owen Hart Foundation Tournament:
ROH TV Champion Samoa Joe vs. CM Punk

They stare each other down for a few seconds, but the Regina crowd thinks this is just another main event match and doesn't respond to the historical nature of this bout. The fans do chant for CM Punk, they seem to just view Joe as his monster-of-the-week to slay. Punk escapes a knuckle lock with a kick. Punk controls the wrist and head. Joe does the ever-amusing casual walk away from Punk's springboard crossbody. Joe seems to enjoy himself as he takes over with Methodical Joe Offense. Back from commercials, Joe has been murderizing Punk throughout. Joe misses a knee drop, giving Punk the opening for a heroic comeback. Joe tries a sleeper but Punk counters into a brutal back suplex. I can't tell if Punk is overselling exhaustion or if he's just truly winded. Punk hits the Hail to the King elbow for 2. Joe blocks GTS and applies a crossface. Punk escapes, so Joe hits a power slam for 2. Fans chant for Owen Hart, just as Punk requested. Punk blocks the Musclebuster and nails a neckbreaker. Joe blocks GTS, but Punk counters with a roll-up to win at 15:30! Nineteen years later, Punk beats Joe. Good TV main event, but not the classic that many were hoping for, ***¼.
Winner: CM Punk

They shake hands and have a nice moment, at least until Joe pulls Punk into the rear naked choke and pledges eternal hatred. Joe grabs a chair, but FTR hobble in to even the odds. Ricky Starks shows up just to make eyes at Punk ahead of their tournament finals match.

Final Thoughts: Overall, a pretty good 2 hours of TV if you are stuck at home on a Saturday night. I'm beyond grateful that this show is so different from Dynamite and even seems to exist in its own little universe at times.

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