This week’s episode of AEW Collision took place in State College, Pennsylvania. The overall action was good, developing many storylines and confirming the card for Grand Slam next week whilst building up to WrestleDream in October - minus the production blunder with the Keith Lee segment.
A 1 to 10 point scale will be used each week to score wrestlers who appear in matches on AEW Collision, and occasionally in notable segments. Wrestlers will be scored as follows:
Note: Not all personalities who appear will be scored i.e. wrestlers in backstage promos or interviews, jobbers. Wrestlers who feature in matches but are not part of AEW’s roster will be scored but will not feature in the Form Table.
Let’s take a look at this week’s ratings:
Big Bill & Ricky Starks (7) vs Claudio Castagnoli (7) & Bryan Danielson (6):
It felt very different to see Castagnoli having strength that is inferior to his opponent. A lot of this match was centred around bringing down the giant, Big Bill. Castagnoli and Big Bill did well to tell a story where they could to get the crowd behind Castagnoli, to make his gruelling uppercuts (et al) look even more destructive than usual in the second and final third of the match.
Bill has really capitalised on this TV exposure in recent weeks, mainly using his body language to get his charisma across with the perfect mouthpiece in Ricky next to him. It was a brave move to have Starks, who was able to phone it in a bit during this match, pin Danielson clean after hitting a Roshambo. And yes, Ricky did try to hit his pose when Claudio was swinging him around.
FTR (6) vs Iron Savages (6):
Boulder was the star in this brief but competitive match. Cool anticlimax to see the hot tag lasting for the best part of 3 seconds after Boulder clotheslined Harwood, and later attempting a smooth moonsault. Jameson’s selling struck well, with the only critique from the tag team being that it felt like Boulder was just sitting on the top rope waiting for the finish for far too long.
Overall, centring around the power of the Iron Savages was a good base for the match and FTR did not need to get out of second gear this week.
John Silver (6) vs Anthony Bowens (6):
This was a good singles bout involving a couple of tag team wrestlers. Both men had spells in the match to impress, and delivered well together. Silver’s suplexes and big boots are such a standout for him despite his height. Bowens is a fantastic babyface to get behind because of how well he expresses his emotions when he is being run down in a match.
Aussie Open (5) vs Pretty Boy Smooth (4) & Wes Barkley (4):
There was nothing great to see here. However, rather than it just be another squash match that AEW likes using a bit too much, Aussie Open boasting that it was a match faster than FTR’s was a good point to note. Between this and Samoa Joe’s squash a few weeks ago, this might have been the quickest match in Collision’s short history.
The post-match promo wasn’t exactly the greatest, but it’s just a case of Aussie Open holding their own until Ospreay arrives in 2024 as a more permanent mouthpiece.
Andrade (7) vs Scorpio Sky (7):
There is nothing sweeter than two veteran’s of the game opening a match with excellent chain wrestling. Neither of these men had to do anything extraordinary except be themselves and we landed ourselves a match that was on par with the main event. Andrade’s elbow is such a great setup for his finisher, as is as devastating as how well it is sold by the opponent. Scorpio sold it like he got knocked out cold with it.
The Hardy’s (5) vs The Righteous (5):
There isn’t much left for Matt and Jeff to do in wrestling anymore. Matt Hardy in particular these days looks like he wrestles in slow motion as his knees have gave up on him. Their bodies are becoming more restricted by the days, and judgement on this run is measured by how well they can put over younger talent. The use of emotional teasers and nostalgia was a mission accomplished by putting The Righteous over with a clean pin.
Average match followed up with a very bland post-match promo by The Righteous.
Kris Statlander (8) vs Britt Baker (8):
Statlander has slowly become the face of the women’s division here on Collision, as has the TBS Title. This made it feel like the champion had more to lose despite being in Baker’s home turf. Both women put on a stellar showing, making the match ever so meaningful with the level of aggression they showed.
One standout that I really like with AEW is that it often lets the town/crowd decide the babyface/heel role where it can. This was a fun main event ran on the crowd reactions. Even though DMD did not secure the win, suspense was created and the finishing sequence had me believing that we would see a title change right up until the glove was in Statlander’s mouth for (almost) the finishing touch. Given the stakes were high, this one just about edges it as match of the night.
Click the below images to see this week's updated form tables: