Ganso Bomb

Write Forever: Is your tag team tournament bracket busted after AEW Collision for March 16?

Write Forever: Is your tag team tournament bracket busted after AEW Collision for March 16?

The Bad

Kevin Kelly stinks. Get him off of my TV and out of my ears!

It's over! It's over! The long national nightmare is over! Twitter stinks, but thank you for still existing so that Kevin Kelly could show his whole ass online and get booted for it.

A throwaway match with a throwaway follow-up

I was enjoying Lance Archer and Claudio Castagnoli well enough when The Righteous appeared to cause a disqualification. Interference leading to a DQ isn't a trope AEW has run into the ground like other companies have over the years, so it's not quite so frustrating when it happens.

Though, when the follow-up is going to be a match with The Righteous it is a little annoying.

I don't know why I want to like The Righteous, but I do want to. Unfortunately, that hasn't successfully crossed over into "actually like The Righteous" territory. They're like an interesting idea with an execution that falls flat. And I don't know why the finger snapping is supposed to be intimidating or whatever.

I love Lance Archer, so I'd be all for him becoming someone more frequently and consistently used in AEW. But, if all signs point to a trios match with The Righteous & Archer vs Claudio, Danielson, and Shibata I can only get myself so excited for it.

The promo main event

Very rarely will I ever like the promo as a main event. What happened in this Adam Copeland promo that couldn't have happened halfway through the show? This promo that was under five minutes could have gone anywhere else on the show with the main event being saved for an actual wrestling match; I suppose if there is a silver lining, it's that the promo was short so it felt like a button on the end of the show rather than a central part robbing time from another segment.

The In-Between

Returns and (sort of) debuts were central to this week's Collision, but they didn't quite pack the punch I wish they would have.

A decent return for Kyle O'Reilly

Kyle O'Reilly made his surprise return to AEW at Revolution, much to the joy of everyone who loves watching grimy little goblins play wrestling belts like guitars.

He seems to have softly aligned himself with the Undisputed Kingdom, though asked them to keep their distance for his return to the ring against Bryan Keith.

I can't say the match was bad or had any technical faults, but something just didn't spark for me. Perhaps it was the, at times, borderline dead crowd.

It felt like Keith could have pulled out the win at times, which would have been an interesting way to spin the return of KOR – especially after having asked Roderick Strong and pals to stay in the back.

Still, Kyle won his return match and celebrated with the Undisputed Kingdom after the match. Kyle seems only halfway in the group at this point, which opens up the door for some intrigue in the coming weeks.

I'm extremely happy that Kyle is back, but this match didn't necessarily do an exceptional job of catching fire from the still-warm embers of KOR's Revolution return.

The survival of The Infantry

I understand the idea behind The Infantry getting the unexpected win over the House of Black. It felt like it had to happen after they interrupted FTR's promo on Collision, but I sort of wish we had gotten there a bit of a different way.

It's a common complaint I have that AEW will often put wrestlers on TV who haven't been on TV ever or in a long time, and we're sort of counted on to care about their opponents beating them. In The Infantry's case, they've been on AEW TV once in as long as I can remember and it was for a promo.

Had they spent some time racking up wins over other teams for a month or so, their insertion into the FTR promo and inclusion in the tournament may have meant more.

But, then would the win against the House of Black have been seen the same way? Is it better to have a complete unknown get an assisted upset than it would have been for at least a semi-established team?

The Tag Title Tournament is a nice way to try and put some shine on young teams in AEW who haven't had the spotlight quite yet – Top Flight, Private Party, and now The Infantry. I'm optimistic about the future of the tag division, but I wish some more upfront work had been done to get us to care about Sean Dean and Carlie Bravo first.

The Good

When good wrestlers wrestle, good wrestling happens. It feels as though AEW is setting itself up for the future with a lot of its younger performers receiving some big focus, so let's hope that trend continues and we see some fresh faces pushed into title scenes in 2024.

Danielson vs Shibata: what more could you ask for?

Earlier this week, the AEW twitter accounts just started casually tweeting about Bryan Danielson vs Katsuyori Shibata on Collision. A hilarious match to just throw out there on live TV. After living through the worst of the worst of WWE shows when they were the only major game in town, it's unbelievable that we just get matches of this quality on free TV on a regular basis.

I'm not sure what Shibata's run in AEW looks like for however long he's under contract, but if his role is to simply show up and have incredible matches with guys at random points throughout the year then I'd be okay with that. Give me Shibata vs Shane Taylor. Shibata vs Daniel Garcia. Will Ospreay. Swerve Strickland. Samoa Joe. Just roll 'em all out.

Not surprisingly, Danielson and Shibata beat the hell out of one another with Danielson's chest bruising the gnarliest of deep purples as a result of Shibata's strikes and slaps. Danielson came away with the win on a roll-up after some back and forth on the mat where Shibata attempted to counter the LeBell Lock.

Danielson nabs an important win as he builds to Ospreay at Dynasty, especially important after the loss to Eddie Kingston at Revolution.

A Collision looking toward the future of AEW

Julia Hart and Trish Adora had a fun TBS Title match with Julia retaining after the picture perfect moonsault from the top. It looks like Julia may be set up to drop the title to Willow Nightingale soon which would be a nice move for the championship as it'd focus on highlighting another young wrestler in AEW.

I've enjoyed Julia's reign a ton, but I think Willow is absolutely the right person to take the championship off of her. It looks like we're also setting up for a rematch between Mercedes Moné and Willow in the future, which would have the added stakes of the TBS Title in that scenario.

While I'm not super hot on the idea of Mercedes yoinking a title so quickly in her run, it would be an interesting change of pace to have her focus on the TBS Title first rather than the World Title. If Mercedes upends a new champion Willow, it evens the score for them and opens the door for a third match down the road – perhaps if and when one of them holds the World Title.

Daniel Garcia and Lee Moriarty had a short but great match with Garcia submitting Moriarty a bit out of nowhere with a heel hook. I can't hide my disappointment that Garcia was passed over for the TNT Title at Revolution, and I hope that he's being geared up for something down the road as well. He's too good and too popular right now to just have him be the guy who gets close but never closes the deal.

Moriarty, of course, is always sensational and should be doing much more in his own right. Why is Shane Taylor not in the tag tournament? Why not beef that thing out with some more teams to get more shine on more wrestlers as we crown new champions?

Wrapping Up

This was an overall enjoyable Collision but not a classic episode by any means. We end the night without having a single match announced for next week, but with a fairly well-stacked Dynamite on Wednesday. It feels like Collision on most weeks feels like an afterthought with matches not being announced until the tweets start rolling Thursday-Saturday afternoon, and I wish more than anything that AEW could get consistent about booking and announcing matches in advance so that every week feels at least as important as the one before.