Ganso Bomb

Write Forever: It's a three-hour extravaganza on AEW Collision & Battle of the Belts for April 13

Write Forever: It's a three-hour extravaganza on AEW Collision & Battle of the Belts for April 13

It's three hours of wrestling in one night! Is that too much for a regular TV show? Probably! But here we are!

The show opened up not with cold-open promos, which I love and miss dearly, but with Tony Schiavone and Daddy Magic opening up the show at ringside which is another stylistic thing I love. They dropped the news that Jon Moxley is the new IWGP World Heavyweight Champion after beating Tetsuya Naito at Windy City Riot, a show which also saw heat magnet Jack Perry endear himself to the fans in Chicago.

Tonight, though, it's Collision and a Battle of the Belts which will almost certainly have zero title changes – though I'm holding out hope that we see a new FTW Champion in Shane Taylor tonight.

Kentucky sickos love Satan (hell, same)

The House of Black have had a somewhat confusing run in AEW. All members are sensational, but the trio has spent more time floundering than doing what they're all best at. The closest we've come is having Brody King with an impressive showing in the Continental Classic, but otherwise they haven't been doing as much as I wish they were.

Their Trios Title run was fine but felt more like a springboard for The Acclaimed, who then proceeded to torpedo any momentum the titles had in the first place.

They've been tuned up lately for some kind of feud with Adam Copeland which felt like it should culminate in a Malakai Black/Copeland TNT Title Match, but as of yet that hasn't been in the stars. We will get a trios match at Dynasty between the House of Black and Copeland/Eddie Kingston/Mark Briscoe, and I hope there's more to come after that.

There are, of course, constant rumors that the men in the House of Black are unhappy. Malakai doesn't want to job, Brody King is upset that they aired the All In footage, and both Buddy Matthews and Malakai are counting down the days until they can go back to WWE. I don't know if any of that's true. I hope it's not, because they're a highlight for me in AEW and I'd hate to see them depart.

Their match here with Dante Martin, Matt Sydal, and Action Andretti was fantastic with the sicko crowd hot as hell to start the show and solidly behind House of Black, though they were really popping for everything in this one.

House of Black picked up the predictable win, but a hell of a way to start any show let alone a night with three hours of television.

The AEW/STARDOM partnership is my favorite one yet

For a while about 5 years ago or so, I was super into STARDOM. You can easily see that by glancing at the archives here on Ganso Bomb. I eventually fell off when there was just too much wrestling to keep up with every week, plus they changed their website design which made it much more frustrating to use on a smart TV. Convenience is key!

With Rossy Ogawa gone from STARDOM, the working relationship with AEW has kicked into an immediate high gear. We got a fun six-woman tag match on Supercard of Honor, an appearance from Mina Shirakawa on Dynamite, and tonight an eliminator match between World Champion Toni Storm and AZM.

Even back in 2018, AZM kicked ass. I didn't expect that five years later a crowd in Kentucky would be chanting her name on TNT.

This match whipped ass. No bones about it! When the women in AEW can wrestle, just beat the hell out of each other, the women's division is at its best. When you bring in wrestlers from STARDOM, it only gets better. Matches like this make me wish desperately that Toni Storm relied less on the Timeless gimmick and more on just having matches of this level more frequently.

Toni picked up the win which was not a surprise, but AZM came across like a star and got over in a single match. I'm so excited for whatever this partnership brings, and I'm crossing my fingers that we see some AEW wrestlers on excursion in Japan to really beef up the quality of women's wrestling in AEW.

Also, let it be known that long-term storytelling is alive and well in AEW and I love it.

Wrestling is best when wrestlers are hitting each other hard

The main event of Bryan Danielson and Claudio Castagnoli vs Will Hobbs & Kyle Fletcher got a ton of time which meant we got to enjoy the extended cut of all four guy walloping each other.

Fletcher especially has been on a tear lately. While he still continues to have the worst haircuts in wrestling, he's been outstanding as the ROH TV Champion including his match with Lee Johnson at Supercard of Honor. I'm anxiously awaiting the return of Mark Davis to see Aussie Open back in the tag division because they're one of the most dynamic tag teams on the roster, but one thing I love about AEW is that when one member of a tag team goes down the other member doesn't just disappear into the ether.

We've seen it with the Martin brothers, Fletcher, and probably others I can't think of right now but it's the right move every time. It only makes the wrestler better and stronger as it puts them into some unique situations while also making sure the crowd keeps them front of mind. Making good, sensible pro wrestling is fucking easy – it's a shame we were stuck for so long without a major promotion in the US who could see that.

This tag match proved yet again why all four guys are main event wrestlers on any day of the week, TV or PPV. Fletcher and Hobbs, if they stick around AEW for the long haul, could absolutely be the future of any division in the company – singles or tag. The young roster in AEW is on another level and paints a bright future for professional wrestling.

Tag team wrestling is just the best.

Expected results but good matches on Battle of the Belts X

Shane Taylor gave Hook one of the best matches of his run in AEW thus far. Shane is an absolute beast who looked dominant against Hook, which only made Hook look even stronger when he pulled out the desperation victory with a wiry Redrum at the eleventh hour.

I'll never stop singing the praises of Shane Taylor and STP, but I do hope they start to rack up some consistent wins sooner than later. They're simply just too good to be mid-level bosses like this. They make everyone they're in the ring with look like a million bucks while also looking like a million bucks themselves. The rest of 2024 needs to be all about STP.

Roderick Strong came out on the winning end against Rocky Romero in an eliminator match, but the real story came after the match. Kyle O'Reilly helped his friend Rocky to his feet post-match and then called off the Undisputed Kingdom when they laid the boots to Rocky. This was all Roddy could take – he caught Kyle with the jumping knee, putting an end to the question about where this friendship will be going.

Dynasty would be a bit too early, I think, but down the road we could be getting Kyle O'Reilly: International Champion. Whatever we have to do to get that guy a belt he can play like a guitar again, let's get it done. (Editor's note: mere minutes later, they announced Roddy/Kyle for the belt at Dynasty. I guess we're getting it sooner rather than later!)

Athena is the absolute best. Until I just ran out of time in my week to keep up with another wrestling show, she was the sole reason I had an Honor Club subscription. She's been the MVP of ROH for her entire reign, and tonight she got to show off why that is on TNT. I don't know who can come out of the woodwork to beat her for the World Title at this point, but whenever it does happen I hope she dominates AEW the same way she's been dominating ROH.

I like Red Velvet a lot, too. Her matches can be a bit hit or miss for me, but when she hits she really hits. She hit tonight. It's felt like Velvet has been working in a different gear since coming back from injury, and I hope we get to see more of her in this gear on AEW TV this year.

Wrapping Up

This show flies by almost every single week. I looked at my watch and it was somehow already 9:20pm, and I don't know how we got there so quickly. Collision was absolutely packed to the gills with wrestling, promos, and story making it a breeze to watch even if it felt like it was over too quickly.

I continue to love the focus on Shane Taylor Promotions. Taylor and Moriarty are exceptional, and I'm looking forward to seeing what Anthony Ogogo can bring now that he's back in AEW. Moriarty ate the fall against Katsuyori Shibata here tonight, but it was a great technical match between the two with only a little bit of STP fuckery. This needs to stick – STP bring it every time out, and I hope this recent push isn't just a vehicle to tell the Hook/Jericho story, but rather that it puts STP on the map permanently in AEW.

Thunder Rosa delivered one of her best promos in AEW tonight. Rosa has looked shaky in the ring since coming back. It could be the injury lingering or just ring rust, but her in-ring work has been a bit disappointing at times. What never disappoints, though, is her passion. Her promos feel real and she has something special that truly connects through the TV screen. I'm not sure if I'm on board with her taking the title from Toni or not just based on match quality since her return, but it does make a hell of a redemption story if she pulls it off.

I'll be excited to see how things continue to evolve when we get to the next phase of the women's division, which seems to be Deonna Purrazzo as a heel feuding with Rosa, Willow Nightingale as the TBS Champion, and Mariah May as the World Champion. Let's fuckin' go.