AEW Collision: January 6, 2024 (& Rampage, January 5)
January 7, 2024 11:54 AM - Season 1, Episode 30 - Subscribe

"Mad King" Eddie Kingston defends his Continental Crown for the first time against Trent Beretta, Sting's retirement tour continues, and hometown boys FTR defend their family against the vaguely-defined evil of the House Of Black.

RAMPAGE - January 5, 2024

Mark Briscoe & The Hardys (Matt Hardy & Jeff Hardy) defeated Kip Sabian, The Butcher & The Blade
I did a quick check on CageMatch and it looks like the last time the Hardys shared a ring with Mark Briscoe was the era of "Broken" Matt Hardy and the Ex-Puh-DEE-shun Of Gold. I suppose that now that Private Party is back as a tag team the Hardys no longer have Isaiah Cassidy as a reliable third hand. Send them on an ROH trios run, maybe?
Kris Statlander & Willow Nightingale defeated Notorious Mimi and Kenedi Copeland
"Stokely Hathaway introduced Willow and Kris and really emphasized Kris, even saying "she's thicker than a Snickers," then just saying "and Willow Nightingale" as the storyline where Hathaway has become infatuated with Statlander continues."
Hikaru Shida defeated Anna Jay

ROH Pure Championship Match: Wheeler Yuta (c) defeated Komander (w/Alex Abrahantes)
I was kinda hoping that since Yuta failed to take the FTW belt from Hook recently, that Hook would reciprocate by going for the Pure Championship, but it sounds like he will be Samoa Joe's next opponent instead, so Blackpool Combat Club's most obnoxious member will stay champ a little longer, I guess.
COLLISION -- January 6

Darby Allin & Sting (w/ Ric Flair) defeated The WorkHorsemen (Anthony Henry & JD Drake)
"A perfect match for Sting to have on his retirement tour. Sometimes, especially on PPV, they ask Sting to do a little too much for his age. This was just right, as he got to shine, run wild, and score the win in a great showcase."

The winning trio also gave the TV audience a fun little "retro promo" to talk up their next match on Dynamite. Darby even smiled! I still think the clock is ticking for Ric and/or Darby to betray Sting one last time, though.
AEW Continental Crown Title MatchEddie Kingston (c) defeated Trent Beretta
"This was one hell of a battle. Beretta is getting used a lot more in these showcase scenarios lately, and he continues to answer the call in this gritty, bloody title fight. This was definitely a match to seek out."

Trent came away with a bloody nose after missing a plancha, and he took entirely too many high chops for a man who's had neck surgery. But he was put over in defeat, with Eddie needing a backfist plus two Northern Lights Bombs to keep him down. Plus Trent's mom Sue was there to give him a post-match thumbs-up.
Hook called out Samoa Joe, saying he was coming for the AEW World Championship Title.

Proving Ground Match for ROH World Tag Team Championship Match: The Undisputed Kingdom (Mike Bennett & Matt Taven) (w/ Roderick Strong) (c) defeated Komander & Bryan Keith
"This was a nice showcase for Keith and Komander, as the crowd got into his comeback and bought the idea of the challenger team winning. A strong, clean win for the new unit."

This stipulation is one of my least favorites -- in order to get a match against the champs, you have to beat the champs? The pacing of the match made it seem like a near thing, which... look, I grant that The Kingdom, and Taven + Bennett specifically, are heels but there's no way a thrown-together tag team should ever get the better of a team with a history, especially when they're already champions. This is some delicate booking, but since the new Undisputed Kingdom is hot right now they have to be elevating the titles to make them seem like something worth chasing, worth fighting the entire faction for. And the ROH tag titles have a really strong history, stronger than the AEW titles!
Adam Copeland cuts a promo promising to "work harder" than Christian Cage, issues open challenge, followed by...

Adam Copeland defeated Griff Garrison (w/ Cole Karter & Maria Kanellis-Bennett)
Sure was a lot of Ring Of Honor people on this here AEW Collision episode! No criticism, just observation. ROH Invasion episode when?
Skye Blue defeated Kiera Hogan
"Skye Blue seems to be AEW’s Iron Woman, as she’s all over these shows."
Claudio Castagnoli defeated Andrew Everett

AEW World Tag Team Champions Ricky Starks & Big Bill will face Sammy Guevara & Chris Jericho next Saturday night on Battle of the Belts, and it will be a street fight

FTR (Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood) defeated House Of Black (Buddy Matthews & Malakai Black)
"A very good main event, although I would go short of calling it great. FTR feels like they have lost some steam as of late. Despite this match being in their neck of the woods, by the end of the post-match beatdown, there was a sizeable House of Black chant. FTR got cheered within the match though, and I do like seeing Daniel Garcia not forgetting about Brody King’s bullying of him after their Continental Classic match."

Speaking as someone who actually follows this show weekly, I still didn't understand what was at stake here. If House Of Black won, was FTR going to join HoB? Were they going to get custody of Harwood's daughter? (Of course, back in the days when kayfabe was law, Harwood's daughter would have been made to believe that Black was coming to take her away from her daddy, and that way she would have looked terrified instead of smiling through the dang match.)

For comparison, I kinda understand Julia Hart's motivation in the women's division. She sees this new version of herself as "liberated", wants to pass that on to others, and views Skye Blue as her first success story. And I can accept Brody King as just a big scary monster man who loves to rip and tear. But what does Malakai Black want out of this FTR match (other than I know he's been grumbling backstage about not getting enough screen time)?

Plus the booking of the finish is off balance. Brody King tries to interfere and Daniel Garcia shows up to stop him, FTR win legitimately. But then Brody re-appears and in the 3-on-3 post-match brawl, the faces get clobbered? Those mental mathematics mean that FTR + another babyface are less then House Of Black! I would have done it as (1) FTR wins, (2) post-match brawl, (3) Garcia shows up to save, (4) Brody King shows up to continue bullying Garcia, (5) tense face-off into end.

Oh well, at least we got the cool final image of Julia Hart looking super-smug as she banged out a ten-bell salute for the fallen babyfaces.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta
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