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AEW Collision - July 22, 2023

by Doc Allen

Malakai Black

Live from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. WrestleTix estimates attendance at 6,486. The arena looks full on camera. Our hosts are Ian Riccaboni and Nigel McGuinness.

Tony Shiavone hosts Ricky Starks in the ring to celebrate his Owen Hart Foundation Tournament victory. Starks cheated to beat CM Punk, arrived at the arena in an expensive new car, and has extended pyro for his in-ring entrance. The fans still seem to like him, but this all seems rather arrogant. Starks agrees with the fans "You Deserve It" chant and makes big claims to stand on his own. This lures out CM Punk, who claims to be mad at himself. Punk admits that he's cheated at times, just like the people here in New Jersey. Punk questions if Starks can live with himself knowing that he couldn't beat him without cheating. Punk is ready to leave, but Starks makes a crack at Punk's bag. Punk proclaims himself to be the real World's Champion. Christian Cage (with TNT Champion Luchasaurus) join the party. Cage wants to wrap things up so he can get out of Jersey sooner, and questions Punk for carrying around a championship he didn't win (hyuck yuck). Darby Allin marches in and rips the mic from Christian's hand. Darby hates being called a pillar because he feels anyone who rides or dies with AEW should be considered a pillar. Darby would like to become the New Face of TNT and doesn't respect Luchasaurus for overdosing on psychedelics to the point where he thinks he's a dinosaur. Darby makes fun of Christian for not wrestling anymore but thinking himself TNT Champion. Tony Khan makes a tag match for tonight's main event, sadly there's no Teddy Long here for a proper announcement.

Earlier today, security won't allow Andrade El Idolo into the building. Did he try to fight Sammy Guevara again or something?

Darius Martin and Action Andretti vs. Bullet Club Gold (Jay White and Juice Robinson, with The Gunns)

Hey, Andretti gets an entrance this time, he's a star again! Juice and Jay may have lost to FTR in last week's 58 minute classic, but they are holding their heads up a bit higher after that effort. White pummels Darius in the early going. Darius comes back with a dropkick on Juice. Andretti enters with a springboard corkscrew senton onto Juice. Andretti hits a flipping arm drag, and Darius helps hit some tandem dropkicks. Juice's German is blocked, so he nails an ax kick. Robinson hits a draping neckbreaker onto the padding. White throws Darius into the rails, and Bullet Club celebrate before commercials. They return Andretti fighting for the hot tag. Darius runs wild with quick attacks and double DDT's. Darius' high crossbody gets 2. Darius clears the ring for Andretti to hit an Asai moonsault onto BCG. Andretti's shotgun dropkick sends White into Darius' German suplex. Robinson returns with running cannonballs. BCG swarm Andretti until Blade Runner finishes him at 10:21. Decent TV match. Andretti and Darius showed enough fight so they weren't just jobbed out, but there was never any point where you felt like BCG was in serious jeopardy, **¾.
Winners: Bullet Club Gold

Footage of Willow Nightingale winning the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament, but then losing to Athena at ROH Death Before Dishonor.

Miro is ready for action, but gets blindsided by Nick Comoroto. Nick drives Miro into the steps and the match is still on.

Nick Comoroto vs. Miro

Comoroto hits a big power slam 1, but Miro looks wounded. Miro absorbs some more punishment but manages a release German suplex. Thrust kick by Miro, and Game Over ends this at 1:29. Good break from the usual squash match formula, the fans responded well to Miro's dominating comeback.
Winner: Miro

Music video highlighting FTR's AEW run thus far.

AEW Trios Championship:
The House of Black © (Malakai Black, Brody King, and Buddy Matthews, with Julia Hart) vs. The Acclaimed (Max Caster, Anthony Bowens, and Daddy @ss Billy Gunn)

The HOB still have possession of Andrade's black mask, just to be d!cks, I guess. Black doesn't like Caster's rapping and attacks before the bell. King smashes Gunn against the guard rails. Caster gets caught in the HOB corner as the official match gets underway. King knocks Bowens from the apron to prevent a hot tag, but Billy makes him pay. Gunn gets the hot tag and briefly runs wild before eating King's lariat. Black Mass finishes Billy at 4:33, and I'm amazed they didn't extend this through a commercial break. Short and intense, and ultimately a necessary feel-bad finish, **.
Winners and still AEW Trios Champions: The House of Black

The Acclaimed check on Daddy @ss, who leaves his boots behind.

Highlights from last night's Royal Rampage, in which Darby Allin speared Swerve Strickland through the ropes to earn a TNT title shot.

Tony Shiavone hosts AEW Tag Team Champions FTR in the ring. They have lots of unfinished business against "real tag teams" but now they have to deal with the makeshift team of Adam Cole and MJF. Cash Wheeler doesn't think Cole should trust MJF, because he saw what kind of man he is when they were in The Pinnacle together. Dax Harwood thinks Cole and MJF are treating the Tag Team Championship like a joke and hates all the comedy skits and dance breaks. There will be none of that when they face FTR, who will give them a real world @ss kicking. Great promo, though the fans seem torn and also possibly resent that the match isn't happening tonight.

Video recap of Blood and Guts. This New Jersey crowd is being forced to watch a lot of cool recaps from other recent shows, aren't they?

Skye Blue vs. Taya Valkyrie

Taya pats Skye on the head and shoves her down. Skye tries a waistlock, but Taya casual spins around to shake her off. Springboard arm drag by Skye, but she hits a phantom knee strike. Taya knocks her outside and follows up with a spear. Skye dodges a running boot and slams Taya by the hair. Taya pulls the tights to set up a Blue Thunder Bomb for 2. Back from commercials, Blue is scrappy but Taya's size advantage comes back to haunt her yet again in the form of a lariat. The fans have gotten behind Blue and cheer her latest comeback attempt. High crossbody by Blue gets 2. Taya blocks a wheelbarrow suplex and hits a sliding German suplex. Blue no-sells for a combination of kicks, but Valkyrie hits another lariat. Taya hits a surfboard stretch stomp to win at 8:54. Most of this stunk, with Skye's offense looking awkward and botchy, they didn't seem like they were on the same page until the finishing sequence, *½.
Winner: Taya Valkyrie

Taya grabs a mic and makes fun of New Jersey. She's happy to beat an AEW homegrown sweetheart. She noticed that Britt Baker won on Dynamite, but it was against an extra, so maybe they should fight.

Recap of AR Fox vs. Shane Taylor at ROH Death Before Dishonor. Fox won, and will get a shot at Orange Cassidy on Dynamite.

Christian Cage (with TNT Champion Luchasaurus) and Ricky Starks vs. CM Punk and Darby Allin

Starks and Cage don't like each other and neither guy wants to start. Punk ambushes Starks with a small package and quickly tries a GTS. Starks makes an unwanted tag to Cage, who gets manhandled by Punk. Darby and Punk make quick tags to keep Christian flustered. Punk taunts with the Starks pose, but Starks refuses to make a tag until Punk is in trouble. Punk drops Starks onto Christian, and Darby helps him clear the ring. Punk hits a sloppy dive, and Allin follows with a Coffin Drop to outside. Back from commercials, Cage and Starks are on the same page and working over Punk in their corner. Scorpio Sky is seen watching from a luxury suite and looks bored. Darby gets a hot tag and runs wild with his shotgun offense, but he crashes and burns with a failed dive onto Luchasaurus. Christian looks winded as he tosses Darby into the announce table. Starks picks up the pieces but can't put Darby away. Back from more commercials, Starks is finally getting some light boos for his posing and Darby @ss-kicking. Christian helps with an inverted DDT but misses a flying head butt. Starks pulls Punk from the apron to prevent a hot tag, and Luchasaurus shields him from any comeuppance. It's not much longer before Punk gets the hot tag anyway and runs wild to a mixed reaction. Punk hits the bulldog/lariat combo for a more positive reaction. Christian rolls through Punk's crossbody for 2. Punk answers with a second rope backdrop and Hail to the King for 2. Starks tags in, reverses GTS, and trades elbows with Punk. Darby tags in, dodges one spear, but eats another spear. Roshambo by Starks only gets 2. Allin reverses into an avalanche inverted DDT, but Christian breaks the pinfall. Punk gives Cage a GTS at ringside. Darby tries a Coffin Drop, but Luchasaurus trips him. Starks uses the ropes to pin Darby at 25:02. Ungodly long match given the weird setup and lack of any real stakes. The ring work was fine for the most part, including Darby killing himself as per usual, but it was kind of depressing to watch Christian struggle to keep up at times, **¼.
Winners: Ricky Starks and Christian Cage

Final Thoughts: I think Collision is serving a great purpose for AEW, and it shines through when you see how in a short time that talent like FTR have been reheated and are thriving. I don't think this was a great episode in a vacuum, as it was full of recaps from recent bigger and better shows, and did a lot of table setting for future bigger and better shows. You can skip this week.

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