This Saturday night, AEW returns to Cleveland, OH for a night of COLLISION at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse! With two Grand Slam World Championship Eliminator Tournament Semi-Finals on tap, as well as a TBS Open Challenge, an International Champion defense pitting Jon Moxley against Action Andretti, BC GOLD, and more, this is quite the loaded edition of Saturday night’s premier wrestling program!
The show starts at 8:00pm ET/7:00pm CT, as well as at AEWPlus.com for AEW’s international fans, so drop by the official AEW YouTube channel for highlights from this week’s episodes of DYNAMITE and RAMPAGE, as well as the latest edition of CONTROL CENTER, highlights from ALL OUT 2023, and so much more!
GRAND SLAM WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATOR SEMI-FINALS…
Roderick Strong vs. Darby Allin
Just look at the two clips embedded above from Wednesday night’s DYNAMITE; love them or hate them, those are four men fighting their hearts out in the hope of challenging MJF for the AEW World Champinoship at GRAND SLAM 2023 despite the fact they’ve got two more matches to go through after winning this one. For one of them winning was as personal as it was professional, and perhaps that’s what pushed Roderick Strong through his nagging neck injury and onto victory over Trent Beretta. It’s either that, or perhaps Tony Schiavone is right in questioning the legitimacy of said injury given that it’s been months since Samoa Joe first dropped Roddy on that chair. Let’s just say if he’s faking it, Roderick is committed to the ruse as he’s been seen wearing it in hotel lobbies, at the gym, in the locker room, essentially everywhere he goes in public, plus he makes sure to constantly remind people that his neck hurts, that Adam Cole was more worried about MJF’s neck than Roderick’s, and even made a shirt about it that he and The Kingdom proudly sported on Wednesday night.
On the other side of the coin, Darby Allin stated one time that he’s hurting like never before after the Coffin Match at ALL IN: LONDON, and he’s said no more about it since then. He isn’t looking for sympathy or pity, and he isn’t whining to Nick Wayne about their opposing feelings regarding the AR Fox situation, instead he is focusing on the fight on hand, despite the injuries from London, ALL OUT 2023, and this past Wednesday night. For Darby this tournament is personal in that he has plenty of reasons to want to get at MJF given their history, but that isn’t his reason for competing, rather it’s professional in that he’s never held the AEW World Championship, and running the table on this tournament is the way to get to that goal.
So will it be Roderick Strong or Darby Allin who advances to the finals next Wednesday night in Cincinnati?
GRAND SLAM WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP ELIMINATOR SEMI-FINALS…
ROH World Television Champion Samoa Joe vs. Penta El Zero Miedo
On the other side of the bracket is another first time match, Penta El Zero Miedo versus ROH World Television Champion Samoa Joe, and this is somewhat of a parallel tale to that of Strong/Darby. Obviously after the events of this past Wednesday night, there is plenty of personal in Joe’s motivations to win this tournament and fight Maxwell Jacob Friedman at Arthur Ashe. While it’s far from the first time Joe has heard the kind of insults MJF threw his way on DYNAMITE, that doesn’t mean they don’t get under a man’s skin and give him added motivation to want to rip the AEW World Champion’s head from his neck. Becoming AEW World Champion was motivation enough, humiliating MJF was motivation enough, but now mixing it all together, and a raging Samoa Joe is possibly the scariest individual to have seeded in this tournament. His decimation of Jeff Hardy on Friday night was evidence of that, and now Penta El Zero Miedo is standing in his way of getting to the finals in Cincinnati.
As for Penta, there is absolutely no personal skin in this game save his own motivation to become AEW World Champion. He has no issues with Samoa Joe, Roderick Strong, or Darby Allin, nor any with MJF either, he simply wants to become AEW World Champion and add his name to the short list of those who have been both AEW World Champion and AEW World Tag Team Champion. Standing with Kenny Omega and Hangman Page in the AEW history books is rarified air, and Penta wants to be that kind of legend when all is said and done.
So it’s a matter of whose motivation is stronger this Saturday night on COLLISION? Will Joe’s drive to humiliate MJF win our, or will it be Penta’s motivation to become legendary?
AEW INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH…
Jon Moxley(c) vs. Action Andretti
For the very first time since its inception, COLLISION welcomes Jon Moxley to its stage, and with him comes the second AEW International Championship defense of the week! On Wednesday night Moxley followed in the traditions of Orange Cassidy’s Open Challenge, and turned away AR Fox’s bid to wrest the belt from around Mox’s waist. Now just three days later, the reigning International Champion is set to make his second defense of the title, and against a man well-versed in the concept of the upset.
Action Andretti burst onto the AEW landscape with an upset victory over Chris Jericho last year, and given the explosiveness of his offense, he’s got the capability of pulling off that kind of victory at any time. If Andretti has any plan to actually defeat Moxley and become the new International Champion then he’s going to have to throw everything he’s learned over the last year at the man because Mox is going to rain down bombs on Action from the second that bell rings. Having just won the belt, the former 3-Time AEW World Champion is not about to let it slip away easily, and the man who beats him for it is going to know they went through a war to do so. Is Action Andretti ready for that kind of fight this Saturday night?
THE AMERICAN DRAGON SPEAKS…
At ALL OUT 2023, “The American Dragon” Bryan Danielson returned to competition after suffering a broken arm less that three months ago at FORBIDDEN DOOR 2023, and in a Strap Match no less! He and Ricky Starks wore each other out over the course of their fight, leaving welts and bruises on every square inch of each other, using the strap they way one would throw chops and forearms, and absolutely battering the life out of one another.
Though it was Bryan Danielson who emerged the victor, Ricky Starks fought with every bit of heart he had in his body and never gave up, so for that he deserves to be recognized and respected, but it doesn’t change the fact that “The American Dragon” was the man with his hand raised at the end of the bout, and it is that man we will hear from this Saturday night on COLLISION!
THE WORLD TRIOS CHAMPIONS HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY…
We also expect to hear from the AEW World Trios Champions following their wild championship defense on the ZERO HOUR last Sunday, a title match that even got “The Worm” Dennis Rodman involved in the fracas! What’s next for Daddy Ass, Max Caster, and Anthony Bowens? Tune into TNT starting at 8pm ET to hear what they’ve got on their minds!
BULLET CLUB GOLD IN ACTION…
BULLET CLUB GOLD (Austin Gunn, Colten Gunn, Jay White, & Juice Robinson) vs.
Aerostar, Dios Del Inframundo, Gravity, & Metalik
Coming off their surprising victory at ALL OUT 2023 over The Young Bucks and FTR, BULLET CLUB GOLD will be in action this Saturday night against a quartet of luchadors, including the debuting Dios Del Inframundo! Will Jay, Juice, and The Gunns be able to continue their winning ways against this unpredictable quartet uniting for the very first time?
THE OUTCASTS…MINUS ONE…
Things are clearly not okay in the camp of The Outcasts following ALL OUT 2023 and Ruby Soho’s failure to capture the TBS Championship from Kris Statlander. Now it seems AEW Women’s World Champion Saraya and Ruby would like to lay the blame at Toni Storm’s feet seeing as how she took the spray paint can from Soho during that championship bout, but after last Wednesday’s chat with Toni Storm, it’s questionable if the former Women’s World Champion genuinely remembers her actions. What will The Outcasts have to say about Storm’s comments and the future of their unit? Tune into COLLISON to hear it straight from them!
TBS CHAMPIONSHIP OPEN CHALLENGE…
After successfully defending her championship against Emi Sakura on Wednesday night, Kris Statlander is back on it this Saturday with a TBS Championship Open Challenge! Who will answer the call and step up to try and dethrone Stat? With each defense, Kris Statlander gets stronger and her confidence grows, and it’s going to take a tremendous challenger to knock her off the top!
COLLISION kicks off at 8:00pm ET/7:00pm CT, as well as at AEWPlus.com for AEW’s international fans, so visit the official AEW YouTube channel for highlights from this week’s episodes of DYNAMITE and RAMPAGE, as well as the latest edition of CONTROL CENTER, and so much more!