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AEW Collision recap & reactions (Oct. 28, 2023): MJF & Kenny Omega in epic world title fight

AEW Collision (Oct. 28, 2023) emanated from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. The show featured an epic main event world title fight, a surprising return standing up to the House of Black, a Fright Night Fight with a zombie, and more.

Catch up on all the Collision details with an efficient play-by-play from Geno Mrosko.

Saturday night is alright for fighting. Boo! Bring back the opening promos.

MJF vs. Kenny Omega for AEW World Championship

MJF is a few days away from breaking Kenny Omega’s record reign as AEW world champion, so naturally Omega wanted the chance to defend his record. MJF obliged, and the match was made for Collision. MJF and Omega went out and tore the house down.

One issue though. MJF still didn’t have physical possession of the Triple B. He tried to steal it after Jay White’s singles match, but Bullet Club Gold caught him in the act. MJF escaped without harm but also without the gold. The indignation from Nigel McGuinness is humorous.

That issue will have be settled on Dynamite when MJF competes in an 8-man tag to take back the title. AEW touched on that again when Samoa Joe offered his services in exchange for a title shot.

Moving on to the feature attraction. AEW hyped the main event with a video package.

The big fight feel was in the air for a genuine dream match. The vibe faltered a little when Omega’s pink feathered jacket fell apart, and MJF entered without the championship. It was weird seeing a title match without the prize at hand. Dasha Gonzalez got things back on track with a booming introduction.

MJF and Omega went to work for roughly 25 minutes. The pace was a runaway train with mat work, cool moves, and rugged spots. Neither man held back in the excellence. MJF pulled out a Fosbury flop for crying out loud.

Of course, MJF hit the kangaroo kick to a huge ovation.

The roughest spot was a gutwrench powerbomb from Omega through a table. The angle of that bump looked scary for MJF.

When it came time for the finish, Don Callis butt his bulbous head in screen. Omega had momentum after three consecutive V-Triggers. As Omega lifted MJF for the One-Winged Angel, Callis scurried down the ramp like a cockroach. Omega immediately released MJF instead of executing his finisher. Omega’s full focus was on Callis.

The match continued. MJF went for a Panama Sunrise, but Omega blocked. A short while later, MJF successfully hit the move perfected by Adam Cole. MJF kept on the pressure to win via Heatseeker piledriver through the ropes. Afterward, respect was shared.

That embrace from MJF and Omega was the end of the show. Cameras panned backstage to show various enemies watching the monitor plotting on MJF, but the broadcast ended in peace.

MJF and Omega delivered an epic world title fight. Omega was a little shaky early, but he quickly found his groove. Omega’s ability forced MJF to up his game to peak levels. These are the type of performances that MJF has always had in him, however, he often chooses to tone it down for much of his AEW career. Not so in this case. MJF went balls to the wall for the maximum ride.

The action was classic AEW style. The gamesmanship and counter moves were sweet throughout to show evenly-matched wrestlers. The intensity led to rousing rounds of fisticuffs. The high spots produced huge reactions. I have to applaud AEW on giving the fans a relatively clean finish. They gave away a huge match for free on TV, and the story had all the earmarks for a bullshit finish. Yeah, I could have done without the Callis protection for Omega. I don’t really get the idea of dropping all focus just to stare at his enemy. In my mind, there’s no bigger FU than hitting the One-Winged Angel while staring a hole through Callis’ soul. But, I digress. Thankfully, AEW kept it fair to create a genuine memory. This win officially cemented MJF as one of today’s greats. And it leaves room for a potential big money rematch down the line.

One more thought. I’m often critical on how AEW uses medical personnel as a story tool to stop matches and check on wrestlers to sell the severity of the pain, especially since it creates an unfair advantage to stall momentum and allow recovery time. I liked how they operated in this match. Both Omega and MJF were down after the table powerbomb. The doctor inspected them in a way not to intrude or interfere with the flow. It felt more natural.

House of Black update

The House of Black ran amok last week playing their spooky games on three separate occasions targeting the Blackpool Combat Club and FTR. Questions were abound about the House of Black’s motivation and the fallout consequences. AEW followed it up with a surprise return from La Faccion Ingobernable.

During Dax Harwood’s match against Ricky Starks, the House of Black flipped the light switch to appear in the stands watching the contest.

Once it concluded with a victory by Starks, the House of Black teleported into the ring. Their focus was clearly on FTR. A beatdown appeared to be inevitable. Not so fast, my friends. Rush led his crew into the ring. They also stared down FTR, but their intentions were made clear by fighting with the House of Black. A melee ensued. Sides split with LFI & FTR across from HoB, Starks, & Big Bill.

Talk about an awesome return. LFI made a statement going after the baddest dogs in AEW. I doubt this was the original direction, because injuries dwindled BCC numbers. If this was an audible, then I applaud the change in course. I don’t believe this is intended as LFI turning babyface. I think it’s more a case of badasses looking to back up their badass reputation by punching bullies in the mouth. As a result, we are in store for some hot-blooded fisticuffs coming our way. I can’t wait.

As for Andrade, he wasn’t sharing his business involving CJ Perry and Los Ingonernables. Andrade declined to speak on both topics.

Bryan Danielson update

Bryan Danielson was on the receiving end of a 1-2 superman punch to Rainmaker combo from Orange Cassidy and Kazuchika Okada on Dynamite. He clutched his face in pain as the show went off the air. Claudio Castagnoli provided a health update sharing that Danielson suffered a broken orbital bone. Claudio isn’t sure which strike caused the damage, so he’s going after both of them. Claudio will find Okada either in the USA or Japan to make him pay. Cassidy will get his punishment next week.

Damn! That was a great promo from Claudio. His cold intensity was convincing. It gave me Liam Neeson vibes. Claudio showcased his very particular set of skills by mauling Tracy Williams with uppercuts.

I was already sold on Claudio challenging Orange Cassidy for the AEW International Championship after his performance on Dynamite. Now, I’m chomping at the bit for that match. Claudio might not win, but he is going to inflict a lot of pain on Cassidy. It will be interesting to watch. Plus, Claudio hyped me up for his quest to track down Okada. I know this idea is unnecessary for the situation, but I’d love to see weekly videos of Claudio getting closer and closer to finding Okada for a showdown.

Fright Night Fight

Hikaru Shida defended the AEW Women’s World Championship against Abadon in a Fright Night Fight. This match embraced the campiness of Halloween. The ring was decorated with seasonal gimmicks. Shida wore a Resident Evil red dress. Abadon was a zombie. They fought with skeleton bones. Shida rode a witch’s broom on a flying attack. Instead of tacks, there were pieces of candy. Abadon hit a flying blockbuster onto the sugary treats.

The finish came down to pumpkins. The crowd eagerly shouted for the orange symbol of Halloween, and jubilation erupted when Abadon tried using a pumpkin as a weapon. Shida defended herself with a kendo stick to wallop the zombie on the head. Shida followed with the Tamashii knee strike. That wasn’t enough to keep Abadon down.

Shida put a pumpkin over Abadon’s head and unsheathed the Katana for a kill shot to win. Afterward, Toni Storm stormed in stealing Shida’s spotlight.

This match was goofy in a fun way. The variety of ‘weapons’ was a creative twist fitting of the occasion. The final Katana pumpkin blow put a smile on my face. Make no mistake though. It was also a hard-fought contest. Shida and Abadon clobbered and clubbered with aggression. Shida has good chemistry selling the ghoulish vibe Abadon brings to the ring. I could watch them fight every year in Halloween season.

Let’s jam through the rest of Collision.

Jay White defeated AR Fox. White controlled the flow, then Fox exploded for a flurry of offense. He landed a cannonball on Bullet Club Gold, then he ran across the ring to leap onto White for another cannonball. Fox continued with a twisting vertical suplex and a swanton. The crowd was electric. White kicked out. Switchblade dodged a flying attack to snap a half-and-half suplex and finish with a Blade Runner.

White handled business, and Fox looked good in defeat. Kevin Kelly astutely put over how one mistake is all it takes for White to take advantage. That’s exactly how the finish felt.

The Gunns defeated The Boys. Dalton Castle escorted his boys on stage, but he didn’t stick around for the match. It didn’t take long for the Gunns to hit 3:10 to Yuma for victory.

The Gunns continue to rack up impressive wins over lower competition. Brandon Tate and Brent Tate demonstrated slick and quick movement in their brief appearance.

ROH World Television Championship: Samoa Joe retained against Rhett Titus. The former TV champ showed heart, but he was no match for Samoan Joseph. Titus ran into a powerful uranage. Joe quickly slapped on the Coquina Clutch submission for victory.

Joe’s momentum is so hot right now. He routinely gets huge reactions from the crowd for his ass-kicking outings. If MJF is forced to drop the world title anytime soon, I’d roll with Joe as the next kingpin.

Ricky Starks defeated Dax Harwood. Tensions were sizzling. Harwood had no respect for his opponent and planned to beat him like he stole something. Starks was confident in stomping Harwood in absolute fashion.

It was a solid tango of action, then Harwood hit a piledriver on Starks. Big Bill pulled Harwood off the pin to prevent the three-count. FTR shouted at Bill, but the ploy worked. Not only did it save Starks, it also created a distraction. Starks recovered and pounced for a piledriver of his own on Harwood to win.

It was a fitting way to win for Starks. He was aided by cheating, and the piledriver method of victory was a nice dig for bragging rights. Starks doesn’t need clean singles wins in this case, since the tag titles are his current focus. This works to stoke the fires of an eventual rematch against FTR.

Notes: Max Caster was catfished by an MJF imposter in regard to the National 69 Day celebration next week on Dynamite when The Acclaimed & Billy Gunn will celebrate their 69th day as trios champions.

Danhausen soon. Very very very nice, very evil. Happy Halloween, humans.

Ryan Nemeth wants to parlay his successful Hollywood career into big things in AEW, so he tried to secure the upper echelon of management by knocking on CJ Perry’s door. Miro answered and comically beat up Nemeth behind closed doors to the sound of painful grunts.

Shane Taylor challenged Keith Lee, because he wants to be the best. He views Lee as the best, so the math checks out. Lee sees this as an opportunity to make an example of Taylor. AEW is giving this hoss fight the slow build, and it’s working. I want it!

QT Marshall returned with QTV to drop a scoop that he will be defending the AAA Latin American Championship against the best luchadores in AEW.

Skye Blue refused to discuss her black mist attitude with Kris Statlander and Willow Nightingale. Any words on that front are between Blue and Julia Hart.

Stud of the Show: La Faccion Ingobernable

Rush’s crew made an instant impact looking like big-time players when confronting the House of Black.

Match of the Night: MJF vs. Kenny Omega

Excellent fight from bell to bell. If you enjoy the AEW style, then be sure sure to watch this match.

Grade: B

Fantastic main event, cool LFI moment, and a fun Fright Night Fight. The rest of the show wasn’t worth staying home on a Saturday night.

Share your thoughts about Collision. How do you rate it? What were your favorite moments from the show?

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