AEW Collision: April 27, 2024 (& same day Rampage live)
April 28, 2024 2:18 PM - Season 1, Episode 44 - Subscribe

The world of sports-induced rescheduling has gifted us three hours of live wrestling, including Swerve Strickland's first title defense, a trios title match, plus the return of several luchadors, the AEW debut of Grizzled Young Veterans plus a brawl in the parking lot.


Swerve Strickland "Town Hall"
"...Strickland said that being the best came with sacrifices. His oldest daughter said that she was happy for him but felt like she didn’t know him. He couldn’t make up for lost time, but he could blaze a trail as World Champion and make sure the sacrifices were worth it. Strickland said that he felt like making history tonight, so he issued an open challenge for the World Title tonight. Strickland said he was the leader of the new era of AEW, the Dynasty Era of AEW when Claudio Castagnoli entered the scene. Castagnoli accepted Strickland’s challenge, telling him that it would become his house tonight."
AEW Unified Trios Title Championship MatchBang Bang Gang (Austin Gunn, Colten Gunn & Jay White) (c) defeated Action Andretti & Top Flight (Dante Martin & Darius Martin)
"This was a solid opener. Andretti and Top Flight have slotted into this position as exciting first challengers, although I hope they don’t get pigeonholed into this role. They’re exciting AEW originals and could be useful to titles like these. Meanwhile, White & The Gunns move forward as champions capable of having good matches like this one."

Jay White is the signee from NJPW who hasn't been pushed as an instant mega-star (compare and contrast with Okada), so this is good, although it may send The Acclaimed down a darker path, see below.
Rey Fenix defeated The Beast Mortos
"This is Fenix’s first match since October when he lost the International Championship to Orange Cassidy on Dynamite. Mortos is the renamed Black Taurus, for those wondering. The two traded chops before Mortos sent Fenix rolling to the floor with a powerslam. Mortos followed Fenix outside with a corkscrew topé. Mortos sent Fenix flying with a lariat and a crucifix bomb for a nearfall. Mortos spun on a reverse figure four, damaging the lower body that put Fenix on the shelf. Fenix escaped to the floor but Mortos clubbered him on the outside.

Mortos continued the beatdown on Fenix in the ring until after the break where Fenix popped out of the corner with a headscissors. Fenix hit his rope-rebound kick for a one-count nearfall before hammering Mortos with head kicks. Fenix muscled up Mortos for a gutbuster but hurt his beaten-up knees in the process. Fenix stood on Mortos’ shoulders before hitting a back kick to his head, but Mortos cut off a springboard move with a hard spear.Mortos missed a corner charge and flew to the floor, leading to Fenix hitting a step-up corkscrew dive to the floor. Mortos came back with a tombstone lungblower before hitting a Widow’s Peak for a nearfall. Fenix nipped up and hit a trio of thrust kicks before hitting his ropewalk kick and a fifth thrust kick. Fenix went to the top rope and hit the frog splash for a nearfall. Mortos caught Fenix on a roll-through, but Fenix wheelbarrowed through into a flash pin to score the win."

A great way to remind audiences who might've forgotten just how great Fenix is. Now that he's back, can he and Penta grab one of those other luchadors that constantly surround them and vie for the trios title? Also, I may be showing my age but "The Beast Mortos" reminds me of "My Name is Muerté"
Rush defeated Martin Stone
"Speaking of additions to the roster, Rush was very impressive in 2023 before his injury in the Continental Classic. Glad to see him back, as the roster gets another useful piece back off of the injured list. Rush sent Stone up and over with a quick German suplex before sending him into the barricades on the floor. Rush took the official’s attention by throwing a chair into the ring, allowing him to whip Stone with a TV cable on the floor. Rush fired Stone into the corner with an overhead throw before knocking him down with a jumping forearm. Rush hit the Bull’s Horns to score the quick win. After the match, Rush hammered Stone with another forearm before hitting the Bull’s Horns again."

Sharp-eyed wrestling fans may recognize "Martin Stone" as the former "Danny Burch", who had a good tag team going in NXT back in 2019-2020 with the now-retired Oney Lorcan, f/k/a Biff Busick -- the team affectionately dubbed by internet fans as "Oney and Two-ey"
Toni Storm (w/ Mariah May & Luther) defeated Anna Jay
"Storm continues to leave the gimmick outside of the bells and wrestle straight-up. A promising pivot. The two traded headlocks before Jay hit a spin kick in the corner. Jay hit a hip attack, angering Storm to hit a Thesz Press and hip attacks of her own. Storm hit a hip attack that sent Jay off the apron into May on the outside. Storm checked on May, which allowed Jay to hit a neckbreaker in the ropes as we went to a commercial.

Storm fired up as we came back from the break, hitting a backstabber and a Fisherman’s Suplex for a nearfall. Jay came back with a Dangerous Jay kick and a Gory Bomb for a nearfall. Storm hit a Tree Slam for a nearfall. Jay hit a Bladerunner and locked on the Queenslayer choke, but Storm powered up and slammed Jay down. Storm hit the hip attack and Storm Zero for the win."
The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens & Max Caster) defeated Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake & Zack Gibson)
"Great tag team cohesion led to an excellent debut, and a quality win for the Acclaimed as they get back into the tag team ranks. I hope to see an All Elite graphic for the Veterans by this time next week. Caster rapped that they would send the Vets back to the Impact Zone, among other things. The Vets started off with an attack on Caster’s arm, but the Acclaimed came back with a sunset flip onto the knees. We got some tag team combinations from both teams, with the Vets isolating Caster as we went to commercial.

Drake laid out Caster with a dive to the outside as we came back from the break. The Vets held Caster back but evaded a Drake kick to get the tag to Bowens. Bowens ran wild until he got cut off with a back elbow. Caster tagged in and ran double-team offense on Drake, hitting the KRS-One for a nearfall. Gibson held Caster in the corner, allowing Drake to hit a dropkick before sending him hard onto the ramp. Bowens fought two-on-one, but Gibson caught him with a lungblower in the corner. Drake then hit a coast-to-coast while Gibson held him in position for a nearfall. The Vets got in Billy Gunn’s face, firing him up. Caster came back to shove Drake off the ropes, and the Acclaimed hit the Mic Drop to score the win."

It could be my imagination, but the Acclaimed just seemed a bit meaner this match. Caster's rap also included a joke a bout "pillow biting", which ech. They were still working face this match, but with a bit more savagery, I guess? Watch and see where it goes.
AEW World Championship MatchSwerve Strickland (c) defeated Claudio Castagnoli to retain
"[...] Strickland followed Castagnoli to the outside, where Castagnoli elevated him onto the stage. Strickland booted Castagnoli, then flew with a Fosbury Flop off the stage to a big pop. Strickland hit a 450 splash in the ring for a nearfall. Castagnoli came back with a double stomp to Strickland, but it only made the champion mad. The two traded European uppercuts and strikes before Castagnoli laid out Strickland with a lariat. Strickland rolled Castagnoli into a deadlift suplex before setting up the Swerve Stomp. Strickland hit the Stomp, but Castagnoli kicked out to the shock of the announcers. Strickland went for the House Call, but Castagnoli caught him and took Strickland on the Giant Swing. Castagnoli transitioned into the Sharpshooter and the Crossface. Strickland rolled Castagnoli up, but Castagnoli hit the hammer-and-anvil elbows and a big lariat for a nearfall.

Castagnoli went for the Neutralizer, but Strickland flipped into a DDT. Strickland went up for a Swerve Stomp to a standing Castagnoli, but Castagnoli held Strickland on his shoulders before dropping him into a Swiss Death uppercut for a nearfall. Castagnoli hammered Strickland with uppercuts before Strickland caught one for a backslide attempt. Strickland hit a German suplex and a pump kick before Castagnoli unintentionally popped Strickland up for a standing Swerve Stomp. Strickland hit the House Call to win and mark his first defense of the title. An excellent first defense for Strickland here, as Castagnoli brought Strickland to the absolute brink on a couple of those nearfalls. If this show was meant to highlight Strickland to a larger audience after the playoff game, they did a hell of a job."

Claudio shrugged off a surprising amount of offense from the champ, especially catching his feet in the middle of a stomp. His only mistake was underestimating how fast Swerve could recover and counterattack.

Parking Lot Brawl: Trent Beretta defeated Chuck Taylor
"Taylor was bleeding very early on when he powerbombed Beretta onto the hood of a car. Beretta and Taylor fought onto the roof of a pickup, and Taylor went through some drywall that had been set up in the truck bed. Beretta jumped from the roof of one car onto another to drop an elbow on Taylor for a near fall. After a split-screen break, Taylor dodged a flying flatscreen TV, then suplexed Beretta through a door. Taylor broke more drywall on Beretta's back and hit him with a trash can. Taylor beat on Beretta with a metal dustpan and a trash can. Beretta came back by press-slamming Taylor through some lighting tubes. At some point, Beretta got busted open, too. Taylor sent Beretta through the windshield of a car with a crucifix powerbomb.

Bloodied, both guys fought their way to the roof of a car. They exchanged forearms until. Beretta hit Taylor with a lowblow Beretta dropped him with a piledriver then locked in a gogoplata on the roof of the car. Taylor could not defend himself, and the ref ended the match. After the match, Orange Cassidy and Kris Statlander came out to check on Taylor, but not before Beretta hit Taylor in his ankle with a plumber's wrench. Cassidy chased off Beretta while Taylor was tended to. In the back, Don Callis was shown watching and nodding approvingly."

Best Friends sure have done a lot for this style of match in AEW, so it was a deserving send-off. Evil Trent would be an interesting addition to the Callis Family, if he doesn't get lost among higher profile guys. Chuck, who had a previous life as "Deathmatch Dustin", never really got his offense going fully, either for storyline reasons -- i.e. he can't go savage on his former friend -- or real-life injury reasons. Nice to see that Kris Stat is still unequivocally part of this group, I was beginning to wonder.
Thunder Rosa defeated Deonna Purrazzo
"[...] Purrazzo went for a piledriver, but Rosa countered that with a cradle, which lead to series of near falls off of cradle attempts. Purrazzo went back to the armbar, but Rosa countered that with a cradle and got the pinfall. After the match, Purrazzo attacked Rosa and sent her into the steel barricade. Rosa and Purrazzo battled into the crowd until security separated them."

It's great to see Rosa fully back in AEW, but since she's now out of title contention I wonder what's in store for her next (although she and Deonna are clearly not finished). Another "Lights Out" Match down the road?
Big Bill defeated Trevor Blackwell
Poor Bill, things were really clicking for him as part of a tag team with Ricky Starks, but with his partner injured he's got to spend time as the new giant in Jericho's faction? Unless Chris turns him down, in which case it'd be a program of Bill trying to "earn respect" by trucking through jobbers? I dunno.
Katsuyori Shibata & Daniel Garcia defeated Shane Taylor & Lee Moriarty
"Taylor dropped Shibata with a right hand. Garcia got a tag and hit Moriarty with the twist and shout. Taylor tripped up Garica as he was running the ropes and planted him with a hanging DDT on the floor. Back in the ring, Garcia tried to make a comeback but Taylor floored him with a forearm. Taylor dropped Garcia with a uranage, then followed up with a big splash for a near fall. [...] Shibata and Garcia hit diving dropkicks in the corner. Shibata hit a running boot on Taylor in the corner. Shibata beat on Taylor in the corner with chops and jabs, while Garcia danced to the rhythm of the beating.

Garcia and Shibata then combined to suplex Taylor. Taylor then countered a second at a double suplex attempt by suplexing them both. Moriarty tried to work over Shibata in the croner with chops and jabs, but Shibata no sold it. Taylor interfered, and Moriarty hit a facelock suplex for a near fall. Moriarty locked Shibata in a full nelson for a right hand from Taylor, but Shibata escaped and he and Garcia locked both their opponents in sleeperholds. Taylor tried to back Garcia into the corner to escape, but Shibata caught Taylor with a kick, and Garica backdropped suplexed Taylor. Shiabata hit the PK on Morarity and got the pinfall."

Garcia seemed to be having the time of his life as Shibata's "young lion", and if this partnership goes on it'll b a good way to return and complete Garcia's old dilemma of "am I a wrestler or a sports entertainer?"
posted by The Pluto Gangsta
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