I'm still catching up on AEW, and everything else because I suck. I couldn't miss this, though. It is, after all, an alright night for fighting.

I dig the intro and energy right off the bat. Remember when Rampage felt like it actually mattered?

Punk's out to kick us off; the only real option unless T.K. wanted a riot. Running this in Chicago was the perfect way to guarantee this response. Now, you can watch the promo in the embedded video above if you'd like and I do encourage it. Punk has looked like a bit of a whiny ass baby lately, his interview that dropped this week didn't help at all, but he's always been a rather decent worker and a fantastic promo. While opinions are just that, you're still likely lying if you disagree with that last sentence.

So, yeah...just watch it.

The big takeaways for those of you that want to do this the hard way?

  • The Elite situation was referenced but not as directly as you'd like.
  • He's still running anti-hero which works well.
  • He had a bag with the "championship" in it and claimed that he's still the rightful title holder. It didn't have the belt in it.
At this point, some of the heat is just a work. It'll make for good TV and shit, at least.

I'd love to see Punk get sent to NOAH for a few months so that he'd either come back without the whiny shit or he'd split again.

TNT Championship: Wardlow(c) vs Luchasaurus

So, I am currently working my way through recent AEW to catch up and I just watched Wardlow best Hobbs for this belt. At the time I thought it felt like another example of this division being a mess. I haven't seen the Goldberg fan's reign, clearly, but based off of the package before this one I do get why they would lean into the Christian/Lucha program right now and add some gold to it.

It still feels like the division is off the rails a bit.

A shit finish closed this one, giving Lucha the alluded to victory and Captain Charisma celebrated as if he was the new title holder.

The angle should be fine. The match was alright for what it was but largely forgettable like most TNT reigns. I think they might have also been trying to showcase that Collision will be creative or something.

Rating: **1/2

Hobbs, with stalker QT, is backstage and promises that he'll win the Owen tournament.

Andrade el Idolo vs Buddy Matthews

This one was a banger and a delightful return for Andrade. It's funny that this show seems to be a hub for the more...problematic workers. Buddy really got to show off here, reminding me a lot of his gems of 205Live (I'm not even kidding), but they made the right move in having the drama-king formerly known as La Sombra get the win. 

Fantastic stuff.

After, Buddy's buddies appeared after the lights went out and made a statement. No assistance for the dude that tried to punk Sammy.

Rating: ****

Sky is apparently alive and well. Remember when they pushed him a bit but the mishandling of the TNT division ultimately Hunter'ed him?

Miro vs Tony Nese

Nese wanted folks to exercise and was booed for it. As a fellow fat ass, I understand. Miro then came, making his return, and murdered the athlete in what was really just a squash.

Rating: ES

The Outcasts vs Blue, Willow

Skye didn't set anyone on fire here, so that sucked. Oh well. Also, Saraya is lost somewhere in a forest or something.

No debut here tonight, but we did get an okay women's tag match. I see they're just bathroom break spotting the girls now. A bit clunky, but largely really fun and it did well to show what I think the division is right now so that's fine.

Mileage will vary, but you'll likely be neutral more than anything else. I thought it was good but far from must-see.

Ruby would eat the L, Storm would spray her in the face, the hometown face would get the pin. One thing AEW has typically been pretty good at is being self-aware enough to plug talent when they have homefield advantage.

Rating: ***

Starks popped up to say it's his destiny to win the Owen. A concession stand brawl with Jeff Jarrett and Mark is set up. Meh. Big Daddy Tony S. and The Acclaimed (with Gunn, of course) had a crowd-pleasing in-ring segment. Fine stuff but not really anything too different than their normal schtick.

Decent filler content if nothing else.

Oh, and props to whomever is running the YouTube channel. A few months ago, some bad habits started forming but they seem to have backed off of those now.

Punk, FTR vs Joe, Bullet Club Gold

Speaking of self-aware, recently at least, Punk and Joe's past got a spotlight in the main. Good shit. Jim Ross was super off, sadly. More than usual. He'll be taking some time away.

They gave them over 20-minutes, which is very respectable. It allowed for a few things.

  • The belief, though it didn't occur, that they had something planned for after.
  • A nicely paced, slow burn six-man.
  • Time for several seed drops as well as references.

I really enjoyed this modernized old-school match, if that makes sense. The best part is, outside of being a fantastic match, this also worked very well to set up a lot for the show as we move forward, via those seed drops. Everyone played their roles well and all was rather logical enough as a nice cherry.

Rating: ****

No bag for the K-man, Tony? Instead, expect Punk to pull his weight and get something against one of the older New Japan names, instead.

Overall, I found the debut of Collision to be a very strong 2-hour watch. I want to believe that the program will retain the energy and feel important moving forward, within reason. For now, despite the looming shadow of what Rampage, I am choosing to lean into that desire of belief.

If nothing else, we at least had one heck of a debut thanks to the hard work of this roster! If you're in a rush, watch the Punk promo, the Andrade return match, and the main event.

Collision Episode 1 Overall Rating: 80