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AEW Collision - March 16, 2024

by Doc Allen

Bryan Danielson

Live from the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario. WrestleTix estimates attendance at 3,125. Tony Shiavone and Nigel McGuinness are on commentary.

Bryan Danielson vs. Katsuyori Shibata

Fans chant "holy $hit" at the bell. I truly hope these guys don't kill each other. They exchange holds, Shibata manages to outwrestle Bryan. They lock knuckles and exchange stiff kicks. Bryan can't quite get the Romero Special so he stomps Shibata's knees into the mat. Shibata grabs the wrist and smashes Danielson to his knees. Bryan answers with a vicous arm snap and armbreaker takedown. They exchange Bow and Arrow reversals. Bryan gets right into Shibata's face and good sportsmanship goes out the window in exchange for a chopfest. Shibata takes control with a penalty kick. During the commercial break, Bryan fights back with a shotgun dropkick into the barricades. Bryan follows with a standard missile dropkick, and they take turns surprising one another with running dropkicks. Nigel asks the baffling question "Is Bryan missing a chromosome" and Shiavone responds with appropriate awkwardness. That's going to be a meme before the night is over. Meanwhile, the guys are destroying one another with super snug offense. Shibata hits a particularly rough DVD for 2. Fans chant "This is awesome!" Bryan hits the Busaiku Knee out of nowhere, but Shibata kicks out! Shibata fights for a rope break to escape the Lebell Lock. Shibata absorbs some YES kicks and asks for more. Shibata rolls to his feet to exchange running boots. They sit down together for another strikefest, fans chant "holy sh!t!" Bryan misses the Busaiku knee, Shibata applies a snug Octopus, Bryan rolls into a clever rope break with his ankle. They trade rapid pin attempts until Bryan gains the pinfall at 19:12! Bryan certainly looks pleased with himself. Fans give them a standing ovation and YES chants. This was total red meat for the workrate nerds, ****.
Winner: Bryan Danielson

TBS Championship (House Rules):
Julia Hart © vs. Trish Adora

The loser will be banned from ringside later when their respective factions face off in the Tag Team Tournament. Trish grabs a Full Nelson and pushes Hart down with a split. Trish tries a shoulderbreaker, but Julia counters with a clever head scissors. They brawl to ringside, Julia smashes Trish into the ring steps. Back from commercials, Trish makes her comeback right on cue. Trish successfully hits her shoulderbreaker, but Julia comes back with a running splash. Trish answers with a German suplex on her knees! Trish misses a back senton, Julia steps on her spine on the way to hitting a moonsault for the 3 count at 7:41. Half the match took place during commercials, but they made great use of their time, **½.
Winner and still TBS Champion: Julia Hart

Zak Knight is amused that Angelo Parker wants to fight him. I'm confused.

Daniel Garcia vs. Lee Moriarty (with Shane Taylor)

These guys both have something to prove and start with an aggressive back and forth sequence. Garcia builds some steam and hits a shotgun dropkick. Shane provides a distraction so Moriarty can deliver a tope suicida. Belly to belly suplex by Moriarty, followed by joint manipulation! Garcia responds with fiery stomps into the buckles. Garcia zeroes in on Moriarty's knee, and hits a backdrop suplex for 2. Moriarty sacrifices his bad knee to hit an enziguri and then a double stomp. Garcia counters into a heel hook for the submission at 5:13. Nonstop action in a tidy little commercial-free package, **½.
Winner: Daniel Garcia

Pac vs. Aaron Solo

Solo gets the no-entrance jobber introduction but scores fight with a spin kick and suplex. Solo hits a surprising dive for a 1 count. Pac has enough of this nonsense and stomps Solo into the corner. Effortless missile dropkick by Pac, and the Black Arrow and Brutalizer ends it at 3:37. Solo tried, but Pac just outclassed him in this solid squash match.
Winner: Pac

Pac grabs a mic and speaks directly to Tony Khan. He's looking for trouble and if Khan can't provide it, he'll find some himself.

Bryan Danielson takes a break from meditating to talk to the camera. He and Shibata were told they'd never wrestle again, but tonight they fought like hell. Bryan is grateful to be facing Will Ospreay, but he's never walked in his shoes and doesn't know what it's like to fight back from death's door. That match is going to rule so hard.

Claudio Castagnoli vs. Lance Archer

They lock up and test each other's power with running shoulder blocks. They exchange scoop slams. Archer seems to be enjoying himself as they trade blows. Claudio blocks a chokeslam on the apron but gets caught by Archer's cannonball senton! Back from commercials, Archer is in control but unable to gain a 3 count. Claudio responds with a big vertical suplex. Archer answers with a strong lariat. He tries a tight rope walk, but Claudio pulls him into an uppercut. Claudio double stomps the chest and chases Archer to ringside for a running uppercut. Archer isn't finished and hits a chokeslam for 2. Claudio makes another comeback and pulls Archer into a cutter for 2. Archer blocks the Neutralizer but Claudio seamlessly hits a springboard uppercut. Claudio hits the Big Swing, but The Righteous run in for an attack and the DQ is called at 11:09. They had a great rhythm going before the rare non-finish, ***.
Winner via DQ: Claudio Castagnoli

Bryan Danielson tries to save Claudio but gets taken down. The Righteous flee when Katsuyori Shibata marches in with a chair.

Backstage interview with Angelo Parker and Ruby Soho. Parker wants to fight Zak Knight no matter what, but Ruby says he'll have to do it without her. Angelo decides to wait for another day.

Kyle O'Reilly vs. Bryan Keith

This is Kyle's big comeback match after missing two years with a serious neck injury. They lock up, Bryan wastes no time targeting the neck. The exchange mean elbow blows until Keith hits a roundhouse kick. Kyle responds with a disrespectful slap to the face. Abdominal stretch by Keith, followed by a slick reverse kick. Vicious DDT by Keith gets 2. Back from commercials, Kyle makes his comeback right on cue, flipping Bryan with a knee lift. Kyle delivers a hammerlock suplex into a heel hook, Bryan rolls into the ropes. Kyle leaps into a triangle choke, Bryan escapes and eats a penalty kick. Bryan hits a KO knee strike to the face but Kyle kicks out! Tiger Driver by Keith gets a good nearfall. Kyle arm drags Keith from the top rope but eats an enziguri to the neck. They stumble into another strikefest until Kyle nails a brutal lariat. Brainbuster by Kyle only gets 2, so he applies a tight armbar to win at 11:28! This was really strong stuff, with Bryan smartly attacking Kyle's weak parts and playing potential spoiler. Kyle put in a great come-from-behind performance and worked hard for this victory, ***¾.
Winner: Kyle O'Reilly

The Undisputed Kingdom come to the ring and hold Kyle on their shoulders. Kyle seems surprised and confused by this support, but accepts it.

Backstage interview with Deonna Purrazzo and Thunder Rosa. They've always been better enemies than friends, but now they have to work together to take on Toni Storm.

AEW Tag Team Championship Tournament - Wild Card Match:
The House of Black (Brodie King and Buddy Matthews, with Julia Hart) vs. The Infantry (Captain Shawn Dean and Carlie Bravo)

This doesn't really feel main event-worthy, but it's the low rated Saturday show, so fine. The HoB ambush The Infantry during their ring introductions and smash them around ringside. The HoB patiently wait in the ring for The Infantry to pull themselves up before continuing the onslaught. King hits a cannonball senton for 2 when Dean saves the match. Buddy helps with a running kick. Back from commercials, Dean is running wild on a hot tag. King cuts him off with a devastating shoulder block. Bravo haplessly tries to help, but the HoB are simply toying with him. King hits Dean with Dante's Inferno, but Bravo breaks the pinfall. The HoB work together to give Bravo another Dante's Inferno on the announce table! Buddy plants Dean, but voluntarily breaks the pin. Julia whispers instructions in Buddy's ear, but he's caught off guard by Mark Briscoe's chair attack. King chases Mark away, leaving Dean to get the fluky pinfall on Buddy at 9:10! This was booked like a total glorified squash match until that finish. Even though the HoB are the bad guys, the fans react like their heroes got screwed. Not sure how I feel about this booking, but that Dante's Inferno on the announce table spot was certainly cool, **¼.
Winners: The Infantry

Malakai Black marches in to make evil eyes at Mark Briscoe.

Hype video for Christian Cage vs. Adam Copeland on Dynamite.

Adam Copeland comes to the ring for some words. He's got a case containing a mysterious object that's scaring the life out of Christian. Adam takes some time to make sure we all know just how special Ottawa is to him. He thought that by this time in his life, he and Christian would be sitting around as old friends, talking hockey. Adam insists he didn't come to AEW to take Christian's spot. Adam has decided to take his cues from another sociopath in Mick Foley and opens the case to introduce us to "Spike", a painted 2x4 covered with nails. I'm disappointed, I thought the case had R-rated pictures of Christian's mom or something. I guess violence is good enough. Adam and Spike plan on making Christian say "I quit" in Toronto, ending their 40-year history. Nice go-home promo for a TV show.

Adam Copeland Spike

Final Thoughts: This was a wrestling TV show full of enjoyable wrestling matches and incremental small chapters in bigger storylines. Sometimes, that's enough. The Danielson/Shibata and O'Reilly/Keith matches are worth checking out if you have the time. I'm a happy fan this week.

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