The latest episode of AEW Collision took place in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The overall action in this episode was excellent, capping off a total of 6 hours of AEW programming. Could Collision finish things off with a bang as the build up to WrestleDream continues?
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:
Darby Allin (6) vs Luchasaurus (7) vs Christian Cage (7)
The result of this match was predictable, but the efforts of the wrestlers and the advancement of the story was not unforgotten. My criticism of Darby recently has been that he has gone OTT with some of the selling he has portrayed. This week’s edition of this was going for a weird flip rendition of being slammed into the steel steps at ringside, rather than go shoulder in like any other wrestler. There a few spots that Darby made look cool, but the question is if he needs to take so many brutal bumps to his back for a network TV match.
Luchasaurus and Christian were entertaining as a handicap duo (for the most part). The biggest pop in the match was Luchasaurus holding the title for the first time, and overall did well to convey his emotions to the crowd. Christian has done well to build up to this moment that leaves the viewer intrigued as to what is next.
Daddy Magic (6) & Cool Hand Ang (6) vs Rob Van Dam (6) & Hook (6)
Everything about his ring walk will convince you that RVD can’t hang anymore, but he sure can. The 5 Star Frog Splash is one of the hardest move to execute beautifully as a finishing visual and he certainly has not lost that. The chemistry between him and Hook was neat. Menard and Parker played their part well in cutting off Hook’s supply for the hot tag and were good fodder in this match. As random of a filler match it was, all four men put in a good tag match.
Julia Hart (6) w/ Brodie King (6) vs Kiera Hogan (5)
With the other House of Black members always so natural with their dominant ring presence, Julia Hart’s biggest test into fitting in is to command the same sort of presence. There’s still a long way to go with it, but she’s doing it really well against AEW’s reputable enhancement talent (like Hogan). The bridge on Hogan whilst stomping on her eye-catching hair was a cool move. Overall, it was a short but competitive match that showcased Hart, especially with Brodie as her wingman. It really added to her stepping up a gear in this division. The post-match promo was excellently delivered by Brodie King, and sets up the next match well.
Jay White (9) vs Andrade (9)
It is hard to compare this match to the main event, but this was a match of the week contender.
During lots of points in this match, it felt like this match was an ode to Hiroshi Tanahashi with all of the leg-focused work that was being used by both men. The dragonscrew leg whip (featuring a guitar riff) by White gave that away, but the offence used - such as hyper extension knee, figure four and uranage - also reinforced that. The more nuanced touches in this match were the lovely pin breaks both men used by barely lifting their arms at the two count. In the finishing sequence, White hoisted himself up using the ropes as a leverage to execute the Bladerunner. This was a fantastic end considering the match was told on both men’s knees giving out. A nice little callback to Wrestling Dontaku in 2021.
FTR (8) vs The Workhorsemen (8) featuring Aussie Open (6)
Each portion of this match had a highlight to it, which is what made it excellent. The ferocious chain wrestling by Wheeler and Henry caught the eye from the very start. The chop battle between JD Drake and Wheeler highlighted the battle in the middle, and the incredible moonsault by JD Drake at the finishing sequence was the biggest pop of the match. The best thing? The match was only 5-6 minutes long and there wasn’t a second to blink without missing something.
Those ‘who are you?’ chants from last week turned into ‘holy sh*t’ in just a week, leaving viewers wanting more from The Workhorsemen. FTR have done so well to put over other tag teams in their recent title run; Iron Savages are a good example from recent weeks. The post-match promo was fantastic in its own right. Aussie Open were much better on the mic last the last time out. The biggest winner here was the tag division as FTR earned their paycheck for the week in 10 minutes of work by putting over two separate tag teams.
Miro (6) & CJ Perry (6)
This backstage segment felt notable enough to include for this week. I’m sure it left a lot of viewers fantasy booking wrestlers (or even a faction) for CJ Perry to manage in weeks to come. It felt like a good, structured, meaningful promo without reducing Miro to a cuckold figure as another promotion would have.
Ricky Starks (9) vs Bryan Danielson (9)
Surely the dive attack into crowd landed into plants rather than actual fans, because that was a wild springboard that had the front row ‘fans’ wincing. The picture in picture was entertainment from Starks’s behalf, as he carried out much of the offence and got on the mic too as a distraction whilst Danielson presumably bladed himself.
This Texas Death Match left the viewers with a lasting bloody image as hoped. The last one in AEW was between Jon Moxley and Hangman Page, so there was a lot to live up to. The final sequence that had Starks helplessly looking on with blood dripping from his mouth as Danielson wrapped the chain around his leg was… chefs kiss.
Starks has shot up to being a main event star under Danielson’s wing in recent weeks, albeit at the expense of a spot that CM Punk would have had. It’s nice to see that the Absolute one’s momentum wasn’t lost after that, delivering another gruelling performance.
Click the below images to see this week's updated form tables: