Write Forever: Collision is a blanket and warm glass of milk before WrestleDream
Everyone has been talking about AEW entering a new era tomorrow night at WrestleDream, which I guess makes this the last Collision of the old era. Is it the speculated move of some amount of AEW content to MAX? Did Tony Khan buy New Japan?! Will they simply change the fonts on the chyrons for Dynamite again?
The possibilities are near endless, so let's just enjoy the memories while we can.
Is Andrade Mask For Mask?
In the show opener, Andrade picked up a win on Juice Robinson in a pretty great match hitting around 15 minutes or so. This picked up a ton by the end especially not only with Andrade and Juice but with the referee throwing the Gunns out to an ovation from the crowd.
Highlight of the night may be Austin Gunn throwing his shirt at the referee prior to exiting only to have the ref whip it right back.
I don't know if there's anything better than the kick misdirect into the spinning back elbow that Andrade pulls out. It happens so quickly and always looks so crisp. After the Gunn expulsion, Andrade drilled Juice with the El Idolo hammerlock DDT for the pin.
On commentary, there was a suggestion that Andrade traded his mask for MJF's Devil mask and was responsible for the attack on Jay White on Dynamite. I don't see that being the resolution to this story, but it's a nice wrinkle to add to the guessing game!
In a backstage promo, Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega admitted that while they're not the best of friends and never will be they'll defeat The Don Callis Family at WrestleDream. Jericho wrapped up by saying they're going to take them "all out" which is leaving me looking for clues as to what happened at All Out.
We got another Toni Storm/RJ City interview pre-tape which I liked a lot more than the previous. It was shorter and sweeter, or at least shorter and sweeter than what I remember the first one being. I'm still not completely bought into the gimmick but Toni is always fun and RJ City is the best.
Inexplicably, The Kingdom came to the ring with rolling luggage. Was this explained somewhere else? Nobody even mentioned it on commentary! If it's just a weird quirk that will remain a mystery then I'm fine with that. The Kingdom have been doing some of my favorite stuff recently, even back to before the Roddy storyline with some great matches in Ring of Honor.
They've flourished as loudmouth goons who can inject a lot of comedy into their matches and promos but still go against any top team. Not to mention, Matt Taven has the best catchphrase in all of professional wrestling (he is, after all, Matt Taven!).
I don't think any act has redeemed themselves for me more than these guys. I really had no interest in them when they first showed up and found them to be incredibly bland. Maybe one day I'll feel the same way about The Righteous but I'm not holding my breath.
Anyway, The Kingdom wrestled Best Friends here nad did a lot of trickery before Chuck & Trent really started beating the piss out of them toward the end of the match. Bennett took a sick Death Valley Driver on the steps before almost landing on top of his noggin (NECK HEALTH) on a doomsday knee strike.
The Kingdom ate a pair of stereo piledrivers before Bennett recovered enough to hit obscured Weiner Punches™️ on both Best Friends before drilling Chuck with a spike piledriver for the win.
Post-match, The Kingdom explained that they were about to catch a flight back to Roderick Strong (luggage explained!) and implored Adam Cole to meet them there (unless he was going to, instead, be selfish and get surgery for his broken ankle).
What's like an appetizer for a dream? That's what this section is about.
Backstage, Prince Nana sang which instantly made this a top-tier episode of Collision. I hope he keeps singing in the new era!
In a quick but good match, Julia Hart beat VertVixen ahead of challenging Kris Statlander for the TBS Title tomorrow at WrestleDream. I got a little nervous at the end because it looked like Julia tweaked her knee on the landing of her incredibly picturesque moonsault.
Julia got on the mic and called out Statlander, but then backed away and left with Brody King rather than getting physical. By that point, it looked like Julia was walking without a hobble again so hopefully it was just a hard landing and nothing more.
The promos from Julia and Stat were also quick but good – both spoke with a lot of emotion and life in their voices, and the match at WrestleDream feels quite unpredictable to me. Does Stat win and continue her run after coming back from a long injury layoff, or is the official start of spooky season the right time to pull the trigger on a Julia Hart TBS Title run?
Especially with Malakai and Brody out with injuries, perhaps it's time to pivot to another member of House of Black to hold gold before the faction is working at full force again.
We got our first taste of the Kenny Omega/Chris Jericho tag team against The Gates of Agony. I'm a big fan of Bishop Kaun but haven't really found the sweet spot where Toa Liona fits for me. Kaun feels more dynamic and well-rounded, but I do like them as a pair. Kaun does have a few years of experience on Liona, so it's not like all is lost or anything. Just room to grow.
There were small seeds of potential dissension between Omega and Jericho planted after Omega was shoved into Jericho on the apron, causing Jericho to spill to the floor. Prior to that, the duo pulled off a couple of double-team moves to the surprise of each other and delight of the crowd.
This crowd, by the way, was maybe the loudest they were the entire night until this point once Omega was tagged in for the first time. This Seattle crowd is hot and should make for a fun WrestleDream show tomorrow night.
While watching this match, a friend sent me a link to a video of the On The Might of Princes reunion show I had to miss on Friday night. The trip was initially ruined by everyone I know getting sick last week but it was maybe for the best considering the wild flooding that hit New York on Friday. Anyway, here's that video – enjoy!
Late in the match, Jericho went for the Judas Effect on Kaun – Kaun ducked and Toa leveled Jericho with a lariat. This whole thing was so smooth, not a single beat missed by anybody. Just great tag team wrestling stuff.
After a V Trigger on Kaun, Jericho was able to tap him with the Lion Tamer heading into WrestleDream against The Don Callis Family. Prince Nana and The Mogul Embassy were not, it appeared, going to be in the money (doo doo da doo doo doo da doo doo doo doo doo).
Jericho and Omega gave a nice post-match promo building to the trios match at WrestleDream. As a team, these two have good chemistry together (shock of shocks) and the promos included a couple of nice moments that felt off the cuff which helped the team feel even more natural. Fun stuff!
What's like a preview for a dream you're going to have later? That's what this section is about.
The Righteous got a vignette building to what is now a handicap match against MJF at WrestleDream for the ROH Tag Team Titles. Maybe I just haven't been paying attention, but the style and tone of the vignette and promo felt fresher than what they'd been doing in ROH in the Dark Order feud?
They spoke like regular humans who aren't trying to be creepy and culty but instead like nihilistic weirdos? I've not been the biggest fan of The Righteous, but I don't know – something about this promo has softened me a little bit on them.
Their finisher stinks, though. Get that assisted spinning cutter thing out of here. You guys can do better than that. Vincent and Dutch grabbed a quick win against Local Talent™️ and then delivered another promo post-match to zero in on MJF.
Also post-match, The Righteous fucking Misery'd Judas Icarus so you know what? I might be fully turned around on them now. If they can get Kathy Bates for a special entrance tomorrow night then I'm going to admit I was wrong all along.
In more WrestleDream build, we got a Shibata/Eddie Kingston informative video package and then a snappy back-and-forth promo between TMDK and The Acclaimed who will clash for the Trios Titles on Zero Hour tomorrow night.
I guess maybe there was something in the water at Collision because this was also the most I've ever been interested in Shane Haste thanks to his very, very bad beats and very, very bad rap.
In the biggest WrestleDream preview of them all, FTR teamed with Bryan Danielson and Wheeler Yuta to take on Aussie Open, Ricky Starks, and Big Bill. On commentary, special guest Zack Sabre, Jr correctly suggested that America has not worked and that it was simply time to start over. When you're right, you're right!
This match got a lot of time and harkened back to one of my favorite Collision matches yet in the 8-man tag of CMFTR and Ricky Starks against Bullet Club & The Gunn Club, before it was official that The Gunns were a part of the group.
Everybody got to showcase quite a bit here with the story being that Aussie & Co didn't want Danielson tagged into the match. After a prolonged beating on poor Wheeler Yuta, Danielson finally got the tag and began brutalizing Ricky Starks in the corner. On commentary, ZSJ dismissed Danielson's skill-set and hurled barbs aimed at Danielson's various recent injuries.
ZSJ was appreciative of Danielson's LeBell Lock before things broke down into a fracas with all eight men in the ring. In the end, Big Bill lifted Dax up for the chokeslam and combined it like I combined elements in the Grymforge in Baldur's Gate 3 to create some cool new armor.
Starks picked up the three but it seemed incredibly awkward – Cash seemed on his way to make the save but was either late or not cut off quickly enough, and despite Starks' music hitting fairly immediately on the three-count everyone kind of milled about noticeable thrown-off.
Everything broke down into another wild fight until we were left with Danielson and ZSJ in the ring. Some warning shots were thrown but before Danielson could slap on the LeBell Lock, ZSJ bailed out to the floor as two of the greatest technical wrestlers to ever do it stared each other down to end the show.
Kevin Kelly stinks. Get him off of my TV and out of my ears!