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AEW Collision - July 29, 2023

by Doc Allen


Live from the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut. WrestleTix estimates attendance at 4,605. Our hosts are Ian Riccaboni and Nigel McGuinness.

SNME-style opening promos from Darby Allin, MJF and Adam Cole, and FTR. MJF would really like to smash Dax Harwood's manhood.

Ladder Match:
Buddy Matthews (with Julia Hart) vs. Andrade El Idolo

Andrade's silly black mask is on the line. This might be the worst excuse for a ladder match ever. Well, it's important to these guys, and they tear into each other at the bell. Andrade hits a moonsault from a ladder, with a little help from the refs. Buddy responds with a series of kicks, but Andrade tries the 3 Amigos. Buddy blocks the last Amigo, but gets hip tossed into a ladder. Andrade sets up a corner spot that would never have worked, so Buddy throws the ladder at him. Buddy has a doctor reset his shoulder during the commercial break.. They return with Buddy controlling the action despite his injury. Andrade finally manages to hit a spear onto a bridged ladder. Andrade got the worst of it and sells a forehead injury. Buddy climbs for the mask, but Andrade tips him over and throws him onto another bridged ladder. They meet on top of a ringside ladder for a slugfest, then Andrade nails a vicious sunset flip bomb onto the bridged ladder! He hit the spot perfectly and the fans give them a "This is awesome!" chant. Buddy stumbles up and pulls Andrade into a brutal knee lift to the face. Julia helps handcuff Andrade to the ring post. She dangles the key in his face, but Andrade kicks a chair into Buddy's skull and escapes. Andrade cleverly handcuffs Buddy to the post and tosses the key away. Julia fetches a bolt cutter to no avail, so she jumps onto Andrade. She buys enough time for Buddy to escape. Andrade knocks him down and shoves Julia off the top of the ladder, sending them both through a table. Andrade retrieves the mask at 18:01. I hated the stipulation, so this match had an uphill battle winning me over, but I very much liked how Andrade was booked to outsmart the heels when it mattered, ***½.
Winner: Andrade El Idolo

Tony Shiavone tries to interview Miro, but Aaron Solo attacks with a chair. Miro easily dispatches him, but appears wounded.

Darby Allin vs. Minoru Suzuki

Darby came looking for someone to fight and luckily the Murder Grandpa was in town. Darby greets the old timer with a shotgun dropkick and missile tope. Darby sits Suzuki in a chair for a missile dropkick from the apron. Suzuki begins no-selling and knocks Darby off his feet. Draping armbreaker by Suzuki, followed by a mean penalty kick. Suzuki unwraps Darby's taped ribs. Back from commercials, we learn that Suzuki has been strangling Darby with his own bandages. Darby slaps the chest, so Suzuki knocks him down. Suzuki offers a free shot, so Darby lights him up and nearly steals it with a roll-up. Darby hits some corner Coffin Drops, but Suzuki grabs a choke hold. Darby escapes but Suzuki reverses the Coffin Drop into a rear naked choke! Darby flips over to pin Suzuki at 9:22! Compact match with nonstop action, ***½.
Winner: Darby Allin

Christian Cage (with TNT Champion Luchasaurus) appear on the Khan Tron to continue pushing Darby's buttons. Christian is still acting like he's the champion and Luchasaurus still doesn't seem to mind it whatsoever.

Video promo with AEW Women's Champion Toni Storm, hyping up her showdown with Hikaru Shida on Dynamite. They're going to beat the p!ss out of one another.

ROH TV Champion Samoa Joe vs. Gravity

No televised entrance for Gravity, but apparently he's in the hunt for Joe's TV title. Gravity dodges Joe's early attacks and taunts. Joe scores a kick, but Gravity answers with a rana. Joe splashes into the corner and nonchalantly walks away from Gravity's crossbody. Back senton, jabs, and MuscleBuster finishes it at 2:07. Felt like more like a short match than an outright squash.
Winner: Samoa Joe

Tony Shiavone hosts CM Punk in the ring. The Connecticut fans seem to like him. He's sporting the bag likely containing his AEW World title and an amusing new "I'm a Collision guy" t-shirt. Tony wants to know what's in the bag. Punk takes time to pander to the fans and mentions the upcoming Wembley Stadium show. He calls Ricky Starks a cheater and claims the bag contains something he's been left carrying because he was forced to be the "responsible adult in the room." Punk is finished being nice, because the truth doesn't care, and he officially unveils his AEW World title and declares himself to be the real world champion. He spray paints an X on the gold, which means he's STRAIGHT EDGE, which means he's BETTER THAN YOU. This belt belongs on Collision, and it's not stolen, unlike his catchphrase! Shots fired at MJF. Ricky Starks interrupts and there's no double now that he's a heel again. Starks would like Punk's unofficial championship since he's beaten him twice. Punk will give Starks a shot, but only if he gets to name a special guest referee. Ricky agrees and they shake on it. Shiavone reveals the ref to be Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, the most honest referee of all time. Good to see Punk moving his Real World Champion storyline ahead and not just having a filler house show style tag match.

Bullet Club Gold (Austin Gunn, Colten Gunn, and Juice Robinson) vs. El Hijo Del Vikingo, Action Andretti, and Darius Martin

Darius locks up with Colten while the fans chant "@ss Boys." Crossbody press by Darius, Andretti stops Austin's interference with a Thesz press. Back from commercials, Vikingo needs a hot tag, but Colten hits a uranage for 2. Vikingo double stomps the chest and leaps off Austin's back to make the hot tag to Andretti, who runs wild on both Gunns. Standing Spanish Fly by Andretti gets 2, but Juice breaks it up with a back senton. Darius and Andretti hoist Vikingo up for a massive somersault senton to ringside! Andretti dropkicks Austin into Darius' German suplex. Colten Superman punches Andretti from behind. The Gunns hit 3:10 to Yuma for the win at 7:10. Lively and action packed TV match, which managed to make the Gunns look pretty, pretty good, **½.
Winners: Bullet Club Gold

Bullet Club Gold pose with a cardboard cutout of Jay White, who must be trapped overseas.

Kiera Hogan vs. Mercedes Martinez

The fans like Martinez, both these women are regulars on ROH, or so I hear. Mercedes is aggressive, but Hogan fires off a missile dropkick. Wheelbarrow slam by Martinez, followed by a brainbuster. Hogan nails a series of kicks, but Martinez answers with a draping neckbreaker. Back from commercials, Hogan has the upper hand but can't put Mercedes away. Martinez counters into a Saito suplex. Martinez finishes with a surfboard Dragon sleeper at 7:08. Adequate squash that really didn't need to extend through a commercial break.
Winner: Mercedes Martinez

TBS Champion Kris Statlander runs in to check on Hogan, but Martinez smashes her own TBS title into her skull. Willow Nightingale arrives to even the odds, and Martinez backs off.

AEW Tag Team Championship:
FTR © (Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler) vs. Better Than You, BAY-BAY! (AEW World Champion MJF and Adam Cole)

Cole greets Harwood with an armdrag. They trade holds for a quick stalemate. Dax takes control with nasty chops. Cash blind tags in for a slingshot shoulder block. Cole answers with an enziguri. Cash avoids the dreaded double clothesline and regroups with Dax. MJF is on a mission to bash Harwood's nuts, but misses a targeted elbow drop. Scoop slam by Harwood, but MJF returns the favor and misses another elbow drop. MJF fakes an ankle injury to lure Dax into an eye rake. MJF has to resist hitting a blatant low blow, and the match breaks down into a standoff. Back from commercials, FTR are working MJF over in their corner. MJF rakes the eyes and nails FTR with a double DDT! Cole gets the hot tag and runs wild like a proper babyface. Dax cuts Cole off with a springboard crossbody. Dax tries another and Cole blocks with a superkick for 2. Tag to MJF, but FTR block the deadly double clothesline. Cash and MJF trade Tombstone counters until Cole assists with a superkick. Cole continues his Superkick Partay and MJF's Tombstone gets a red hot nearfall! FTR remove MJF from the ring and swarm Cole. FTR's double superplex is blocked, but they block Panama Sunrise with a headbutt to the groin. FTR hit Cole with their superplex/frog splash combo BUT COLE KICKS OUT! Fans chant "This is awesome!" Dax allows a tag to MJF, and they duke it out. MJF rakes the eyes again, and they trade counters until Harwood nails a slingshot Liger Bomb for 2! Cole catches Cash with a clothesline at ringside. MJF finally hits the running low blow to Dax, but DAX KICKS OUT! Cole returns to drop the boom, MJF interrupts the Big Rig, and Harwood pulls MJF's tights to roll him up at 17:55! Nooooooo!!!! There's a wave of genuine disappointment in the arena. Still, outstanding tag team war, enhanced even further by MJF's endearing heel chicanery, ****½.
Winners and still AEW Tag Team Champions: FTR

Cole checks on MJF, who is upset at himself for losing. Cole tries to cheer him up by giving him his AEW title belt. MJF teases turning on Cole, who is willing to take it if necessary. Instead, they hug it out to a massive ovation. This story isn't over just yet and I love it.

Final Thoughts: Highly entertaining episode of Collision, with a must-see main event. Recommended.

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