Welcome to Bleacher Report's live coverage and recap of AEW Collision on September 17.
Following the events of Friday's Rampage, two matches were booked. The Righteous took on The Hardy Boys, and Kris Statlander defended her TBS Championships against Britt Baker.
We also saw Bryan Danielson and Claudio Castagnoli of The Blackpool Combat Club battle Ricky Starks and Big Bill, FTR took on The Iron Savages, and Aussie Open was also in action.
In men's singles matches, we had Scorpio Sky taking on Andrade El Idolo, and The Dark Order's John Silver battled Anthony Bowens of The Acclaimed.
Let's take a look at everything that happened on Saturday's show.
Bryan Danielson and Claudio Castagnoli vs. Big Bill and Ricky Starks
This week's Collisions started off with Big Bill and Starks taking on Castagnoli and Danielson. The American Dragon and The Absolute One were going to start things off, but Big Bill tagged in so he could show Danielson how tall he was.
The Swiss powerhouse was able to go toe to toe with Bill despite giving up several inches in height. Castagnoli is pound-for-pound one of the most powerful men in pro wrestling, so he has picked up guys bigger than Big Bill plenty of times.
Starks and Bill were following the classic heel and bodyguard pattern. Starks would tag in, dish out some damage, cheat, and then tag back out as soon as the pressure started to get too high.
After playing the heels in so many recent storylines, it was kind of weird to see the BCC be the victim of another team's cheating, but Danielson and Castagnoli have the kind of love from the crowd that will always allow them to work whatever side they want and get the desired reaction.
Most of the time, seeing the BCC play the underdogs wouldn't make sense, but the size of Big Bill really helped make it seem believable that he and Starks could control as much of the match as they did.
This was a solid tag team match from top to bottom. All four guys looked great and the ending with Starks hitting a low blow on Danielson for the win was the right way to go. IT gives him the victory but leaves it open for Danielson to seek revenge.
Winners: Big Bill and Ricky Starks
Notable Moments and Observations
- Opening Collision with a series of quick promos from the competitors on the card helps set the right tone for the show. It helps differentiate it from Dynamite.
- As great as The Final Countdown is, Bryan is better off using his regular music every week. He went to the trouble of having Elliott Taylor record a new song just for him, so he may as well use it.
- Nigel McGuinness being petty about not getting a match against Danielson is one of the best running jokes in AEW right now.
- Getting Big Bill on his shoulder was impressive enough, but swinging him around for a TKO made Castagnoli look even more powerful than usual.
- The way Starks fell on Danielson when he tried to counter a superplex looked rough.
FTR vs. Iron Savages
Jack Jameson tried to get in Dax Harwood's face before the match, so Cash Wheeler helped his partner hit him with the Shatter Machine to send him out of the ring.
This left Bronson and Boulder to deal with the tag champs while their managers/third member tried to recover.
The challengers had a pretty big size advantage, so they made sure to use it whenever they could to control the pace and punish Harwood and Wheeler.
This match started off in a way that made it seem like it might be a really competitive encounter, and in some ways it was, but it was still over in less than five minutes and ended with the champions retaining the tag titles.
This was decent but ultimately just a filler match before we get FTR vs. The Workhorsemen.
Notable Moments and Observations
- Boulder trying to hit a moonsault isn't that weird. A lot of big guys have done that move, including Keith Lee. What made it weird was how effortless Boulder made it look.
- Wheeler seemed like he was barely in this match.
John Silver vs. Anthony Bowens
The Dark Order tricked Bowens into facing Silver instead of the man he thought he would be fighting, Evil Uno.
Johnny Hungie attacked Bowens in the corner to get the match going, but the trios champion turned the tables and beat him down right away.
Even with a bunch of other people involved in this story, the majority of the in-ring action felt focused on Silver and Bowens, which is always what you want in a singles match, but now always what we get.
However, Uno didn't stay away for too long. He appeared from under the ring and ran Bowens into a ring post to help Silver pick up the win.
This match had some really great sequences, but it also had some moments that didn't click for different reasons. Overall, this was a good effort and seemed to make the live crowd happy.
Winner: John Silver
Notable Momenta and Observations
- Silver said, "I Googled scissoring and you guys are doing it wrong."
- Bowens has a really good punch. It's one of those things that seems like it should be so simple that everyone is good at it, but a lot of wrestlers look awful when throwing worked punches. Bowens makes it look like he follows through.
Aussie Open Squash, Andrade El Idolo vs. Scorpio Sky
Aussie Open won a quick squash and then immediately challenged FTR to a match for the AEW tag titles at WrestleDream.
Winners: Aussie Open
Scorpio Sky gave a brief promo in a pre-recorded video before heading to the ring for his match against El Idolo.
Even though both men entered the ring acting as if this would be a good, clean fight, Sky did use a few dirty tactics, but for the most part, this was a contest between two men who simply wanted to prove they were the better professional wrestler.
These are two world-traveled veterans who have more than proven their ability to put on a great performance, so even if they were on autopilot, they still outshined the majority of what we saw on Saturday night.
El Idolo scored the win and paid respect to his wife, Charlotte Flair, by using her trademark Figure Eight submission.
Winner: Andrade El Idolo
Notable Moments and Observations
- Speaking of pre-recorded videos, there was a weird editing mistake during a Keith Lee backstage interview where somebody forgot to edit out the production team getting the shot ready. It was funny for us to watch at home but definitely shouldn't have happened.
- Andrade's entrance gear was awesome.
- Is AEW ever going to give us a program with Andrade and LFI? It seemed like a no-brainer now that Andrade is a babyface.
The Righteous vs. Hardys
Matt and Jeff Hardy took on Vincent and Dutch in a tag match after the white-clad duo was scouting the brothers on Rampage this week.
The Hardys have become more and more limited with what they can do in the ring over time, but they still have the ability to get an emotional reaction out of the crowd.
In a somewhat surprising outcome, The Righteous scored a pretty clean win. They gave a promo after the match so they could brag about beating one of the most legendary tag teams in the world.
They ended up indicating they wanted a shot at the ROH tag titles held by MJF and Adam Cole.
Winners: The Righteous
Notable Moments and Observations
- Jeff makes it so hard for merch designers to pick which look to use because his face paint always looks cool.
- Half of Vincent's promos sound like they were written by a high school sophomore who just learned what half of those words mean, but the other half is really intriguing and makes him an incredibly interesting and engaging character.
Kris Statlander vs. Britt Baker (TBS Championship)
The main event of this week's show saw Statlander defend her TBS title for the second night in a row. Friday, Jade Cargill was her opponent. Saturday, Britt Baker stepped up to challenge the champion.
Statlander may have been the bigger competitor, but Baker was just as aggressive with her offense throughout the match. Both women wanted to make sure this didn't just feel like a random title defense. They wanted the outcome to be in question the entire time.
After a very entertaining match, Statlander was able to keep Baker down for the three-count without using her finisher. DMD shook her hand and raised it after the match, but they weren't suddenly hugging like best friends. Baker was selling how frustrated she was with the loss.
Julia Hart was shown watching the match from a distance, so she may be scouting the TBS title to bring to The House of Black.
Winner: Kris Statlander
Notable Moments and Observations:
- Starks challenged Danielson to a Texas Death Match during a backstage segment.
- The Blue Thunder Bomb is one of those moves that sneakily became way more common than it used to be out of nowhere, especially on the indie scene.
The Final Word
While there were definitely some weak points, and one glaring production error, this week's Collision was an enjoyable show.
The opening and closing bouts bookended the show with some great in-ring action, but El Idolo vs. Sky deserves to be recognized for the high level of skill both men displayed.
The segment with Toni Storm deserves to be mentioned, not only because pairing her with RJ City was a brilliant idea, but because Storm has done such a wonderful job with this new version of her character.
Danielson vs. Starks in a Texas Death Match will definitely be fun, but the FTR vs. Aussie Open match which was also booked during tonight's show might end up being the better bout in the end. Time will tell.
It's hard to pick the best match out of the three highlighted above, but due to the title being on the line and the somewhat unpredictable nature of the ending, Baker vs. Statlander probably edges out the other two as the one thing you should take the time to see if you skipped the show.