Write Forever: The Bounty Hunter Is All Elite
It's been hard times in the ole Ganso Bomb house recently, but things look to be on the up and up at this point so it's time to do like Madonna and get into the groove of writing again. Collision has been a spotlight for AEW the past several weeks, so let's see what Big Biceps Tony had for us on this episode from Edinburg, Texas!
Kevin Kelly stinks. Get him off of my TV and out of my ears!
The lows aren't incredibly low, they're just lower than the rest of the show. I'm not afraid to admit when an AEW show just doesn't hit, and there have been a few of those lately, but this episode of Collision wasn't one of them. Most of what we got was good-to-great tonight.
Just a little bit of fluff
Again, nothing that was a letdown or that was outright bad on the show tonight – but I'm trying to fill out these sections here.
The Hook handicap match was really not much of anything. He beat The Outrunners and then hit the bricks. Good to keep him visible and on TV, but nothing to write home about.
The Mark Briscoe promo was similarly fine with the interruption from The House of Black. I appreciate that the House of Black is delivering promos like real people instead of only doing extremely spooky lore dumps or whatever. I love lore, I love spooky – but at a certain point, we need a reason why these folks are spooky wrestling folks and not, I don't know, spooky carnival people or fortune tellers or something.
I enjoyed Malakai's line about making Mark disappear because it's his favorite magician's trick, which I am 1000% sure is leading to Nigel McGuinness joining the House of Black.
Red Velvet and VertVixen was good, but like Hook was mostly a way to get Velvet on TV with a win before facing Toni Storm on Wednesday night. Again, nothing negative to say but simply something that served a purpose.
New signings, luchadores, and just a whole lot of great wrestling on a Saturday night.
The Bounty Hunter is All Elite
Bryan Keith rules. There's no way two ways about it. I first became loosely familiar with him during the years we lived in Austin, Texas and it's a thrill to see him get so many chances to show out on AEW television as of late. There have been rumors and rumblings that he (along with the fantastic Queen Aminata, who has been similarly showcased lately) has been signed and I hope upon hope that rumor is actually true for both of them.
You're never going to be disappointed in a Bryan Keith match, and pairing him with Eddie Kingston in a proving ground match was a great choice. It was an equally great choice to do this match in Texas so the crowd would get behind their home-state wrestler against the perennial fan favorite Eddie Kingston.
I can't really say whether or not this was Keith's best showing in an AEW match or not because he's honestly been given a lot in every one of his showcase bouts the past few months. But, I know for sure that he looked like a beast against Kingston and took every bit of Eddie's offense falling only to the Uraken spinning backfist.
The icing on the whole deal, of course, was Keith officially getting his All Elite announcement and graphic after the match. If there was ever any question as to whether or not he deserved to be in a major promotion like this before getting this last batch of matches on AEW TV, Keith absolutely proved that he belongs over the past couple of months.
Hechicero is the coolest mother fucker on the planet
I didn't know anything about Hechicero one week ago.
I still don't know much about him.
Last night, I saw him on Rampage for the first time and he did not have the gear or body type I was expecting.
Tonight he got his own full entrance, and my god – I can't think of the last time an entrance was so technically simple but still blew me away Hechicero's.
Similar to Eddie Kingston, it's going to be hard to have a big showcase match against Bryan Danielson and not look great. When you bust out cool shit like the guillotine headscissors, which I've never seen before in my life, it's also hard to not look great.
Nobody expected Hechicero to win this match, but he established himself to a whole new audience on why he's a star not only in presentation but in ability. I hope this dude sticks around for a while and gets to demonstrate this over and over and over again.
Judging by the post-match here and on Dynamite, it looks like we're getting a full-on BCC vs CMLL feud an I'm so ready for it. Run this shit back 4,000 times and not end it with what I'm sure will be an insane trios match on Wednesday night.
I love the Mad Scientist. I love The Alchemist.
Queen Aminata enters Deeb's Dojo
Serena Deeb has only been back a week, but so far since she's been back we've been blessed with two women's matches on Collision. A golden age for the AEW women's division?!
Deeb hits a lot of the same marks as Bret Hart did for me. She's not the flashiest personality, but one of (if not the) most technically sound woman on the roster. She even has a few little facial and vocal ticks that remind of me Bret, which amuses me a bit. As long as she can stay healthy in her return and the division keeps getting this focus, she should easily become a top star in AEW in 2024.
I mentioned her earlier, but Queen Aminata has been on a run of great TV matches the past several weeks with rumors flying that she's already been signed by AEW/ROH. I always type this live as I'm watching, and maybe just me typing that wills an "Is All Elite" announcement and graphic for her sooner than later.
Aminata is everything the division needs on the opposite side of the coin from Deeb. What she chooses not to bring in pure grappling she makes up for by hitting hard.
This one fell apart a bit at the end which was unfortunate, but it shouldn't overshadow what was otherwise a great match between two wrestlers who can just fucking go.
Swerve's House, always and forever
Swerve Strickland delivered a short and sweet promo, after being somewhat awkwardly wished a "Happy Black History Month" from Tony Schiavone.
Swerve talked about the history of black wrestlers who have made their marks in wrestling history, name dropping Ron Simmons, Kofi Kingston, and Athena. He hyped the match with Hangman on Wednesday but stressed to Nana that he didn't want any interference because he didn't want ole Hanger to have any excuses when he loses for a third time.
Nana agreed, but this may just be planting seeds for a future babyface turn from Strickland. Perhaps when the interference becomes too much, Swerve drops Nana and the Mogul Embassy and ascends to the top babyface spot in All Elite Wrestling.
A long and wonderful trios main event
It's no secret that I love a long main event, and long main events were a cornerstone of Collision when the show first debuted. They haven't always stuck to that formula, but entrances for tonight's main event began at roughly 9:30pm ET which made me extremely happy.
I'll also make no bones about the fact that I love rankings and am so happy AEW decided to bring them back this year. FTGarcia referenced the rankings in a pre-match promo, talking about the importance of the trio being present in Trios rankings while FTR themselves were absent from the Tag Team rankings.
It sounds like FTGarcia are in it for the long haul, which I think is a good fit for all involved. It's a nice way to reestablish Garcia away from the orbit of the Jericho Appreciation Society and the fallout of which seemed to last far beyond its shelf life. It also gives FTR a bit of a fresh start with a new wrinkle in their AEW run thus far.
With 2024 feeling like a bit of a rebuilding year for the various divisions in AEW, I think it's a wise choice to shift FTR out of the Tag Team division and into Trios at least for a little while. If they're still floating around the Tag Team division then the question always becomes "Why isn't one of the greatest tag teams of all time fighting for the belts?".
With this move, they're able to build to a future Trios Title Match against who I hope will be the next Trios Champions, Bullet Club Gold. There's obviously no shortage of history between BCG and FTR, so it all writes itself with a nice little bow on top.
The finale of this match was focused on Garcia and Nick Wayne, a fabulous move to put the focus on the two youngest guys in the match who should undoubtedly be the future of AEW. Wayne is such a perfectly smug little shit, with Garcia's natural charisma and energy continuing to propel him into the hearts of anybody with a pulse.
In the end, Garcia picked up the win which once again solidifies him as a serious competitor in AEW after his Brody King upset during the Continental Classic. While their promo earlier in the night painted a picture of FTGarcia's future with the Trios Titles in mind, after the match Garcia and TNT Champion Christian Cage had a lengthy stare-down.
If we're heading into 2024 with the possibility of Swerve and Daniel Garcia capturing singles gold, then we're off to one hell of a start.