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AEW Collision recap & reactions (Dec. 9, 2023): Bryan Danielson is beatable

AEW Collision (Dec. 9, 2023) emanated from Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The show featured a chink exposed in Bryan Danielson’s armor, Eddie Kingston back on the winning track, Kenny Omega wrestling Ethan Page for the pride of their country, and more.

Catch up on all the Collision details with top-notch play-by-play from Cain A. Knight.

Saturday night is alright for fighting. Eddie Kingston impatiently tooted the theme song.

Continental Classic shows that Bryan Danielson is beatable

The Continental Classic presented two matchups from the Blue League for the evening. Eddie Kingston versus Claudio Castagnoli started the show. Bryan Danielson versus Andrade finished the show.

Kingston fired off an opening salvo of aggression. Claudio weathered the storm to pummel his opponent for a long stretch. He even took Kingston on a ride for the big swing.

Once Kingston rallied, it was a proper donnybrook inside the ring for the rest of the bout. Claudio struck with precision and technical acumen, while Kingston relied on his toughness throwing haymakers. The Mad King managed to clock Claudio with a spinning backfist. Claudio responded with a European uppercut. Kingston stood strong to unleash another spinning backfist. That wasn’t enough to keep Claudio down.

When Kingston lifted his rival for a powerbomb, Claudio countered for a roll-up. Kingston kept the motion flowing to end up on top and earn the win.

The main event was a competitive clash with a shocking conclusion. Andrade was triumphant over Danielson. That result was not the surprise. It’s how El Idolo got the job done.

Andrade ripped off Danielson’s eye patch midway through the contest, and he didn’t hold back attacking the surgically repaired injury. Andrade went so far as to blatantly gouge Danielson’s eye. El Idolo drew blood on the American Dragon’s scar tissue.

Danielson isn’t one to be worried about pain or blood, so he kept coming full steam ahead. Danielson executed an avalanche suplex then applied the LeBell Lock. Andrade struggled to the ropes for the break.

Andrade’s bread and butter down the stretch was a spinning back elbow. He collided the point into Danielson’s eye on several occasions. The contact took its toll wearing down the Dragon. Andrade poured on the punishment in the corner with vicious elbow strikes to the orbital bone. It appeared that Danielson was knocked out. Andrade carried the dead weight to the center of the ring, then he finished with a hammerlock DDT to win.

Afterward, Andrade tried to make nice. He did whatever it took to win, and he felt Danielson would understand that. It’s unclear how Danielson responded on the mat, but his Blackpool Combat Club brethren weren’t interested in hearing Andrade’s apology. Heat simmered between Andrade and Claudio to set up their future tournament bout.

Danielson presented himself as unbeatable for the Continental Classic. He was on his way proving it too. That was until Andrade found a chink in the armor. It was only a matter of time before someone tested Danielson’s eye. Andrade was ruthless in his approach, and it paid dividends in victory. That strategy was executed well by protecting Danielson and increasing the value of Andrade’s stock to win the tournament. Cruising for a sweep of the competition would have been an acceptable story for Danielson, however, this result adds great drama to the overall angles of the competition. Danielson is damaged goods for his next matches. Will he be able to survive or possibly thrive in the face of danger? There are a lot of layers of intrigue that could blossom over the next two weeks.

Kingston and Claudio put on an exciting show setting the mood right. The physicality was there, as is always the case when these two meet. What set this round apart from their previous encounters was personality. One sequence in particular brought the chuckles. Claudio hammered elbows as Kingston turtled on the mat in defense. When Claudio paused, Kingston thought he outsmarted his opponent. The Mad King laughed and flashed the middle finger. Claudio snatched that finger to use as a transition to an armbar. Little tit-for-tat like that played as amusing gamesmanship throughout.

Let’s jam through the rest of Collision.

Willow Nightingale defeated Mercedes Martinez. The OG Badass executed a hanging neckbreaker down to the floor. Diamante was in tow to add cheap shots. Martinez went to work with a variety of suplexes. When Willow rallied, it wasn’t long before Martinez regained control. Martinez executed a crucifix power move.

Martinez was cocky on the cover, so Willow surprised her with a roll-up to win. That was Willow’s first time beating Martinez. Afterwards, Martinez and Diamante put the boots to Willow. They pulled out a small ladder and a metal pipe, but Kris Statlander made the save with a steel chain.

Martinez and Willow put on an interesting match. I was not expecting it to unfold in that manner. Willow is usually the powerhouse, but Martinez roughed her up good. The post-match scuffle with foreign objects is likely foreshadowing to a hardcore tag team bout. I was wondering why Statlander took so long to arrive, however, it made sense when she can from the backside through the crowd for a sneak attack. That wasn’t an efficient way to save her pal, but it was effective.

Wardlow defeated Willie Mack. Chocolate Caliente was out for payback on behalf of AR Fox. Wardlow showcased his power and athleticism. Mack tried to put up a fight, but he was no match for Wardlow. The strongman caught Mack on a hurricanrana to counter with a crushing powerbomb.

Wardlow continued with a second powerbomb, a wind-up lariat, and a third powerbomb to finish. The referee waved off the action awarding victory to Wardlow.

Damn, that was an impressive win by Wardlow. Mack is no scrub, and Wardlow pretty much dominated. This was a statement building Wardlow back into relevance to challenge MJF for the AEW World Championship. My curiosity for that bout is increasing with the legend of Wardlow growing as the weeks go by.

Kenny Omega defeated Ethan Page. They went hard taking rough bumps, such as Omega’s suplex over the ropes tumbling down to the floor.

Even though Omega was the better wrestler, Page held his own to shine. All Ego almost scored the win off an avalanche powerslam.

In the end, dragon suplexes and V-Triggers softened Page up for the One-Winged Angel. Omega’s hand was raised, then he was victim to a cheap shot on stage from Big Bill Morrissey.

Omega was a dandy as usual, and Page raised his game. All Ego pulled out some moves I didn’t know were in his arsenal, such as the leaping cutter out of nowhere. Both men made Canada proud with their effort.

Pentagon & Komander defeated Daddy Magic & Cool Hand Ang. Matt Menard and Angelo Parker were excited to wrestle on the big stage in their hometown. Ruby Soho sidled in to flirt with Cool Hand. Saraya chirped at her friend for her icky feelings about that loser.

The luchadores brought the flash with a teamwork monkey flip catapult into the corner.

The Montreal boys had the crowd hot for their comeback. Ang was close to victory on a teamwork cazadora Codebreaker, but Komander kicked out on the cover. The masked men isolated Cool Hand to execute a rope-walking shooting star press to package piledriver combo for the win.

Pentagon and Komander were super cool with their creative moves. On the other side, it was nice to see Daddy Magic and Cool Hand receive a hero’s welcome from their home crowd. They do good work on a consistent basis, but they aren’t ever in the position to create a reaction like that. It was neat to see them appreciated for this evening. Also, the slow tease between Cool Hand and Ruby continues to be delightful.

Notes: Jon Moxley faces Swerve Strickland in a Gold League tournament match on Dynamite. Mox recognized the buzz surrounding Swerve’s rise, but buzz is cheap. It costs a price staying on top. Many are not willing to pay that price.

Swerve has his eye on riding this wave of success to the bigger picture of leading AEW as world champion. The mogul will feast on Moxley.

Wheeler Yuta views Hook as a paper champion. Yuta was confident in beating Hook on FTW terms, so he challenged the cold-hearted handsome devil to an FTW rules match. Hook didn’t hesitate to accept.

House of Black claim to be the only people in the locker room who truly care about FTR.

Miro criticized CJ Perry for not being content to stay home cooking and cleaning. So, um, was this a heel turn from Miro? His attitude won’t go over well in today’s culture.

Julia Hart can’t figure out what’s behind the living dead girl Abadon.

Shane Taylor doesn’t see the drive to be the best in Keith Lee’s eyes. Lee responded that he will teach Taylor a lesson.

Stud of the Show: Wardlow

Wardlow was a beast. I don’t think anyone has destroyed Willie Mack that decisively in recent years. Tune up the symphony, because powerbombs are coming MJF’s way.

Match of the Night: Andrade vs. Bryan Danielson

Determination and ruthlessness were attributes displayed to make this contest greater than just a skilled wrestling match.

Grade: B

This episode was heavy on the wrestling, and it delivered strong throughout. The quick promos and story elements all hit the target.

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

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