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AEW Collision recap & reactions (Nov. 4, 2023): House of Disappointment

AEW Collision (Nov. 4, 2023) emanated from Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, KS. The show featured the House of Black on the attack, La Faccion Ingobernable fighting with gusto, Swerve Strickland stealing the show with AR Fox, and more.

Catch up on all the Collision details with top-notch play-by-play from Geno Mrosko.

Saturday night is alright for fighting. This edition of opening promos was the best one yet. AR Fox blindsided Swerve Strickland to start the show.

Fox versus Swerve was the opening contest. This story was ice cold due to the lengthy layoff between chapters, however, that brawl turned it red hot for the match. Well played to recover the heat. It was also a fun moment in general.

Swerve Strickland defeated AR Fox. The former allies brawled on stage, and Fox leaped for a flying crossbody off the side down to the floor. Swerve slowed the pace to take control. Fox rallied with a blitz of offense for a 450 splash.

Swerve rebounded to toss Fox onto the turnbuckles. He added more pain by transitioning from a powerbomb lift into a vicious powerslam. Swerve finished with a flying double stomp to win.

This match was a dynamo of excitement. Fox and Strickland make magic whenever sharing the ring as opponents. This outing was no different. The grudge match aspect was palpable with a higher degree of intensity. The movement was marvelous. They balanced a line of familiarity with a chess match of footwork to gain an edge in exchanges. Swerve’s intelligence turned the tide. The toss into the turnbuckles was strategic to damage Fox’s knee to slow down the high-flyer. Swerve’s powerslam was a thing of beauty. That 1-2 combo left Fox easy pickings for the flying stomp.

After the match, a melee broke out as a prelude to the main event. Gates of Agony surrounded Fox. FTR ran in for the save. Ricky Starks and Big Bill Morrissey swayed the scaled back to evil. The bad guys scattered when La Faccion Ingobernable rushed the scene. FTR offered a handshake to their future partners, but LFI left them hanging.

Fast forward to the main event.

Rush, Preston Vance, & FTR defeated Ricky Starks, Big Bill Morrissey, & Gates of Agony. This match was set up to showcase Rush, and he delivered as a star. El Toro Blanco smashed at will, particularly on Starks.

Rush even joined Dax Harwood for the Big Rig. The LFI leader closed with the Bull’s Horns dropkick to pin Kaun.

This bout was given roughly fifteen minutes to operate. The action was rowdy, but there wasn’t much reason to care about the outcome. The interesting part was watching characters interact as unlikely allies. After the match, LFI left FTR hanging again on a handshake. Rush made it clear that they are not here to be good guys.

The show didn’t end there. Business picked up with the House of Black.

Malakai Black spoke on the big screen with riddles for FTR. The gist was wanting to show FTR that their legacy is more than just an obsession to win championships. They will beat that lesson into FTR. Boom! Sneak attack. Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta stormed the ring for payback on House of Black to close the show.

This House of Black story quickly turned into a massive disappointment, in my opinion. The matches will most certainly kick ass, however, the substance behind the story is weak. They had the world’s attention two weeks ago with all the attacks. Their explanation for focusing on FTR is feeble. Malakai’s message doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, in terms of a professional wrestling storyline. What’s the endgame for FTR? Are Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler supposed to have some sort of epiphany through combat never to challenge for championships ever again? House of Black are filled with delusions of grandeur that they are saviors. I haven’t noticed any of their feuds actually helping their rivals through tough love. They’re just maniacal madmen. That’s fine and all on the surface, but their motives crumble under closer inspection to look like goofs.

Let’s jam through the rest of Collision.

Kingdom defeated Jabrone A & Jabrone B. The opponents were named Jameson McGregor and Brixton Nash, but they didn’t last long enough to make any sort of impression. The Kingdom wrecked their foes with ease to finish with a spike piledriver.

Not much to take away here. This was Matt Taven and Mike Bennett putting in work to remind the world of their ability. They also promoted awareness for neck health. The best part was the aftermath when Roderick Strong sprang out of his wheelchair to deliver a jumping knee. Strong immediately collapsed down to the mat, and the Kingdom carried him back to his wheelchair. This clip is a hoot.

Darby Allin defeated Lance Archer. The Murderhawk Monster mauled Allin early with a brutal release suplex on the ramp.

Allin had no quit in his spirit. He weathered the storm and made his move to win. While tussling on the turnbuckles, Allin bit Archer to break free for an avalanche sunset flip powerbomb to earn victory.

That match played out as expected in an entertaining way. Archer was a wrecking ball tossing Allin around with ease. Allin took a licking and kept on ticking with feral defiance. Allin found a way to win in the end, as he often does. I appreciate this particular finish as a way to make it look believable. In theory, Archer isn’t used to taking bumps falling from the turnbuckles. The impact stunned him just long enough for the three-count. Plus, the pin was in a position which would be tough for a man of that size to escape right away.

What didn’t play out as expected was Jake “The Snake” Roberts plotting schemes. Roberts was ejected from the match for trying to hit Allin with the skateboard. After the result, Roberts returned with news of building an army. Roberts welcomed Vincent and Dutch of The Righteous to join him in destroying Allin. Archer took advantage of the distraction for a Blackout slam on Allin to close the scene.

More Jake on screen is a plus in my book. It looks like he’ll have a direction and focus beyond accompanying Archer. I’m looking forward to how this group develops.

AEW World Trios Championship: The Acclaimed & Billy Gunn retained against Dalton Castle & The Boys. The champs celebrated National 69 Day for their 69th day with the titles. MJF shared kind words in a video for Max Caster. Respect has been earned. He’s growing to like them.

Castle’s crew crashed the party to pick a fight for an impromptu title bout. The champs surged in the end for a Fame-asser from Daddy Ass and the Mic Drop combo from The Acclaimed to win.

This segment was fun filler. It was weird in a good way how worlds collided between scissor party and peacock power. Two unique fan favorite acts mingling with panache.

Mark Briscoe, Dustin Rhodes, & Keith Lee defeated Sex Stallions. This match was set up by Kip Sabian wanting payback on Briscoe. He proposed a trios match with the Work Horsemen on his side. I like this sex idol version of Sabian. He may have finally found a character.

FTR offered to pull double duty to help Briscoe, but Dat Boy had a another pair of bad hombres in mind. Briscoe revealed Rhodes and Lee. The Limitless Boys were a nightmare for Sabian’s squad. Lee was the game-changer. He caught Anthony Henry to use as a battering ram on Sabian. Lee then powerbombed Henry on top of Sabian. Briscoe landed a froggy bow to pin the sex idol.

I appreciate the effort set up in creating this match. It added a little bit of mystery to hook attention and make viewers care. Rhodes and Lee were solid picks as the surprise reveal. Lee’s feats of strength always amaze, Rhodes hitting the Destroyer never gets old, and Briscoe had the happy ending.

More on the Briscoe front. He was smelling gold and wanted a piece of Jay White. Briscoe proposed a singles match with the PPV world title shot on the line. The office made the contest official for Dynamite.

Meanwhile, Keith Lee has business of his own to challenge Samoa Joe for the ROH World Television Championship. The idea of this hoss fight gives me goosebumps. Start the countdown clock to Dynamite.

Willow Nightingale defeated Emi Sakura. Willow prevailed using a spinebuster to set up a gutwrench powerbomb.

Delightful action. It was a hoss fight lite with physical collisions. Charismatic personalities shined. Willow hammed it up for the cameras, and Sakura was energetic as a heel.

Notes: Hype package for Daniel Garcia challenging MJF for the AEW World Championship on Dynamite.

MJF vented his anger about being pinned by Jay White in the 8-man tag on Dynamite. His passion boiled when criticizing White as a pretender. Bullet Club Gold responded by singing a tune to gloat over their victory. White plans to pin MJF again at Full Gear. MJF’s promo was intense. That’s the attitude I want to see for him trying to get back the Triple B.

Kris Statlander tried to clear the air with Skye Blue about her misted corruption. Blue saved Willow Nightingale, because they are friends. Blue sassed Statlander on the way out to imply they are not friends.

Swerve Strickland butt in on Alex Abrahantes’ time, so the luchador hype man proposed a match against Pentagon for Dynamite. Penta was disgusted by what Swerve did at Hangman’s house.

Andrade will answer CJ Perry’s managerial offer next week.

Shout-out for this dancing Prince Nana sign.

Stud of the Show: Rush

In a chock-full main event, El Toro Blanco was the star.

Match of the Night: Swerve Strickland vs. AR Fox

Slick and sweet. A true dandy of athleticism and creativity.

Grade: B

This episode didn’t have any major moments, however, there were a lot of little hooks to build intrigue and maintain attention throughout. All in all, it was a very fun show.

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

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