AEW Collision: July 15 (& Battle of the Belts VII)
July 15, 2023 4:35 PM - Season 1, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Tonight's Collision gets SUPER-SIZED, as the normal 2-hour show gets an additional hour for the newest Battle of the Belts. And to make sure the time is well spent, every match tonight is either a tournament final or a championship match.

The announced card for Collision:

Owen Hart Foundation Tournament Final - Men: CM Punk vs. Ricky Starks
Owen Hart Foundation Tournament Final - Women: Ruby Soho vs. Willow Nightingale
AEW World Tag Team Championship Match: FTR (c) vs. Bullet Club Gold (Jay White and Juice Robinson)
Battle of the Belts VII:

AEW TNT Championship Match: Luchasaurus (c) vs. Shawn Spears
AEW Women’s World Championship Match: Toni Storm (c) vs. Taya Valkyrie
AEW International Championship Match: Orange Cassidy (c) vs. Lance Archer
I honestly can't think of anything clever to say about any of this, but I am going to go microwave a big bowl of popcorn.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta (6 comments total)
I remarked in my friend's Discord: Tonight's episode was to decide whether Collision exists to put over CM Punk, or to let CM Punk put over other talent, and I'm please that it's the latter and not the former.

Relatedly, what the heck was going on with Ricky Starks just plowing right past Jushin Thunder Liger who came out to present the cup after he won? Were they super pressed for time? Did he genuinely not know who that was? Does Liger have heat with Ricky Starks now?? I need answers to these questions.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 8:52 PM on July 15, 2023

Re: FTR, 2-out-of-3 falls stips are not entirely my bag, because (notwithstanding an ultra-rare exception) the match will always go to the third fall, so it's an uphill battle for my attention. What does the stip accomplish that you couldn't replace the first and second fall with near-falls instead? But that's just me.

Nevertheless, I know Dax and Cash are intense fans of that old-school style, and this match made them both look great while simultaneously making Jay White a serious threat. He kicked out of everything FTR did to him, and in the end it was Juice Robinson who took both pins for BCG.

One thing that definitely popped me was the near-finish, where FTR had Jay and Juice trapped in simultaneous Sharpshooters, and they were both reaching out for each other to prevent the other one from tapping. I'm 99% sure that was the finish toan NXT TakeOver 2-out-of-3 falls match where FTR lost their tag titles of the time to Johnny Gargano and Tomasso Ciampa. So it's nice for them to be on the other end of this. I think they also restaged it for their dog collar match against the Briscoes?
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 8:59 PM on July 15, 2023

Sympathies to Taya Valkyrie and Toni Storm, whose championship match got sandbagged by satellite problems. The FiteTV feed was lost completely, and bizarrely, the TNT feed went to commercial and then temporarily dropped in a bit of a rerun from earlier this week(?) where Julia Hart faced local talent Izzy(?)

Toni retained through more Outcast cheating, so sad, and it leaves me wondering if every other woman on Collision is just stalling for time until Thunder Rosa makes her comeback? Where art thou, Rosa? Weren't you featured in the promos before the premiere of Collision?

Another thing that gets me nervous is how Orange Cassidy seems to be retaining the International Championship through slimmer and slimmer margins, this time keeping Lance Archer on the outside long enough for the ref to count him out. Winning through count-out is usually not a face thing to do, but I'd overlook it since it dovetails nicely with Cassidy's sloth style. Thing is, the champ has certainly elevated the title, but showing him get more and more damaged with each defense kinda makes it seem like an albatross, no? Eventually we'll be wanting someone to take the burden off him and go defend the International title in Japan or something. (Ironically, Lance Archer would be perfect for this sort of thing.)
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 9:16 PM on July 15, 2023

Another bon mot from someone else: "If that black splotch on Malakai Black's face grows any more, we're gonna have to have a discussion on the use of blackface in wrestling kayfabe."
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 9:17 PM on July 15, 2023 [1 favorite]

Battle of the Belts felt completely inconsequential. No title change, no long term stories concluding or even progressing. If the show hadn’t happened at all I can’t think of one thing that would be meaningfully different.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 9:25 PM on July 16, 2023

"Fun" Fact: The only time a title has ever changed hands on Battle Of The Belts is when the challenger was Sammy Guevara.

posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 5:30 AM on July 17, 2023

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