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AEW Collision recap & reactions (Sept. 16, 2023): The Britt Show canceled

AEW Collision (Sept. 16, 2023) emanated from Bryce Jordan Center at Penn State University. The show featured Dr. Britt Baker DMD challenging Kris Statlander for the TBS Championship, Ricky Starks besting Bryan Danielson, and more.

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

Saturday night is alright for fighting. The TBS title bout was the main event. Kris Statlander knows she is entering hostile territory, but she is a fighting champion. Britt Baker declared that is time to take home the gold and show why TBS is The Britt Show.

Unfortunately for Baker, The Britt Show was canceled before it even started.

TBS Championship main event

Baker entered first to her ‘home’ crowd on the campus of her alma mater Penn St. She clearly had the crowd support. Statlander came out second as champion. I don’t think this was a case of the crowd ever turning on her by default, but the energy was more focused to side with Baker. The electricity was rising for a big fight feel.

Baker made the mistake of trying to go toe to toe with the powerhouse champion. She paid the price when Statlander dished out punishment. A chink in the armor was revealed when Statlander tweaked her knee landing awkwardly. Baker took notice to smash Statlander’s knee repeatedly into the ring post. That issue was a minor step affecting the story, but it did even the playing field for Baker.

Baker went to work trying to apply the Lockjaw submission, however, her ego got in the way. The first time, Baker made a big production of putting on the glove. That allowed Statlander precious time to recover and escape with a roll-up. The second time, Baker was in prime position for the submission, then she pointed to the camera. That wasted motion once again allowed Statlander time to regroup and block the Lockjaw hand. These were entertaining moments from Baker in terms of sports entertainment, however, they were foolhardy in terms of a wrestling competition.

Baker went to her well of offense trying to finish through other means. The dentist hit a destroyer, Angel’s Wings, and curb stomp in succession. Statlander heroically kicked out on the cover.

Baker decided to climb the corner, then Statlander snatched her off the turnbuckles in an electric chair position. Baker responded with a sneaky tarantula submission. This move weakened Statlander for a transition to the Lockjaw. Statlander powered up, but Baker was able to insert the dental claw from a standing position. Statlander faded down to the mat. It looked like a new champion would be crowned.

Not so fast, my friend. Statlander rolled the position for a cradle pin. Baker either couldn’t escape or decided to take the risk believing she could coerce the tap before the three-count. The referee made the call, and Statlander won that bet in victory.

Respect was shown from both participants after the match. Even though Baker still had jealous eyes for the gold, she exited the ring to let the champ have her glory to close the broadcast.

Statlander and Baker put on a match worthy of main event status for Collision. The result was a toss-up heading in due to the circumstances. Many felt Baker would earn the win as the bigger star at home. Statlander was entering hot fresh off a great win over Jade Cargill on Rampage. That were arguments to be made on both sides who should win, and that added a greater sense of drama to the bout.

In my view, AEW made the right call with Statlander retaining the TBS title. Her star power is on the rise, and they need to see how high it go can. Losing to Baker so soon after the Jade win would have badly undercut her momentum. Baker fought tough and was protected in defeat, so a rematch can be visited when the time comes. And it will be a hot one, thanks to the great battle put forth on this evening.

Let’s jam through the rest of Collision.

Ricky Starks & Big Bill Morrissey defeated Bryan Danielson & Claudio Castagnoli. Starks countered a superplex to land on top of Danielson. Bill was brawling with Claudio on the outside, which caused a referee distraction. Starks struck a low blow and finished Danielson with a Roshambo.

This match was a lot of fun. The Blackpool Combat Club were faced with the challenge of Bill’s giant power, and they didn’t back down. That led to entertaining moments, such as Danielson using leg kicks but getting too close to be goozled, Claudio to firing off a barrage of ferocious strikes to finally knock Bill down, and Claudio teasing a big swing on Bill. That swing didn’t happen, but Claudio did execute the move on Starks.

Starks was the star in the end by finding a way to beat Danielson. By hook or by crook, Starks got the job done. Absolute talks the talk, and now he is putting in enough high-profile wins to walk the walk. He brought his A-game in the ring to wrestle with style, technique, intelligence, and craftiness. Starks is increasing his star power step by step.

Starks isn’t done with Danielson. He was in an ornery mood over the disrespect from AEW. They aired a video package for the man he just beat (Danielson) and a man who isn’t even in the company (Zack Sabre Jr.). On top of that, Starks doesn’t even have a match for WrestleDream. Starks plans to put an end to Danielson next week in a Texas Deathmatch. Oh la la!

AEW World Tag Team Championship: FTR retained against Iron Savages. The hosses put a pounding on the champs. The tide turned when a high-risk gamble did not pay off. Boulder missed a moonsault. FTR pounced for a Shatter Machine to Bronson, then they hit the superplex flying splash combo to pin Boulder.

Another match with a high fun factor. The Iron Savages ran wild with power moves. FTR was overwhelmed and escaped with the win. They did it in a way where the finish was strong to maintain their momentum, and it showcased their opponents’ strengths as a team to keep an eye on for the future.

Challengers are lining up to face FTR. The Workhorsemen (Anthony Henry & JD Drake) entered the ring after the match to call next. Aussie Open served a squash match, then they called their shot at FTR for WrestleDream.

John Silver defeated Anthony Bowens. The Dark Order pulled a fast one with a contract switcheroo. Not only did Silver replace Evil Uno, but Max Caster and Billy Gunn were banned from ringside. Silver started alone, however, Uno popped out from under the ring to attack Bowens. Silver blasted a knee strike to win. The Dark Order will receive a trios title shot at Grand Slam Rampage.

Third time is the charm for fun matches. This was a hard-hitting affair with a comedic flair. The silliness was to be expected with scissoring from Bowens and hunger from the meat man. The slugging aspect was a pleasant surprise to elevate the attraction of action.

Andrade defeated Scorpio Sky. Sky wasn’t afraid of being thrown back into deep waters. He is at Collision to face the best. Sky started strong. Andrade gained an edge by attacking the knees with dragon screws. As the match wore on, Andrade’s strategy paid off for a figure-eight submission to win. Sky declined a pre-match handshake, but it appears that respect was built for a post-match handshake.

Solid wrestling match. Andrade and Sky both put on a good fight. It’s interesting to see the pecking order shake out. Sky did well, but I never got the sense that victory was within his grasp. He’s clearly a notch below Andrade at this point in time.

Afterward, “Switchblade” Jay White called out Andrade for a match next week. White noticed Andrade scouting his crew last week, so he’s going to show that Andrade can’t handle the spotlight.

The Righteous defeated the Hardys. Dutch was the game changer. Jeff Hardy was in position to close with a Swanton Bomb, but Dutch shoved him off the turnbuckles onto the ropes. Dutch smashed Matt Hardy into the ring steps. Vincent executed a tornado cutter with help from Dutch to pin Jeff.

Afterward, the Righteous cut a promo targeting the ROH tag titles held by MJF & Adam Cole. They plan to expose the lies of that false friendship.

Impressive win by the Righteous. They beat a legendary tag team in their first big match on AEW television. That is an effective way to showcase them as a legit threat to the tag team division. Sure, the Hardys are past their prime, but a win over them still holds value, especially for a new team on the scene.

Notes: Promo dump. The Hung Bucks upped the stakes for Grand Slam Rampage to a ROH six-man title bout against the Mogul Embassy. Shane Taylor stepped to Keith Lee. Shane T won’t be running. Hoss fight! Soon. Also, Lee Moriarty is the newest member of Taylor’s crew. Hook and Orange Cassidy shared chips and decided to tag together for a match at Grand Slam Rampage. Katsuyori Shibata wants a match at WrestleDream. Zack Sabre Jr. can’t think of a better way to honor Antonio Inoki than wrestling Danielson at WrestleDream to determine the best technical wrestler.

The next chapter in the Book of Hobbs is destruction. No one is safe from Hobbs unleashing physical pain.

Miro broke Hobbs’ back, but did it make him humble? They will meet again down the line. Miro turned his attention to his god taunting him with the temptation of his hot and flexible wife. Miro will not bend. Classic Miro material.

Eddie Kingston chirped about Claudio doing business the wrong way when leaving potholes on his way to WWE. Kingston still holds that grudge. This beef will be settled once and for all at Grand Slam. That’s where Kingston will have the edge. He is New York tough and refuses to lose on his home turf. Kingston delivered as he always does in this promo. Fans will view it as a badass expression from the soul, while detractors will view it as a tough-talking clown show.

Claudio responded about how Kingston always complains. He doesn’t think Kingston is man enough to win this final chapter.

Toni Storm was the focus of a special Portrait of a Star segment. It was basically her pulling a diva attitude in an interview with RJ City.

AEW aired a hype package for the Golden Lovers history between Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi. That’s something we should have seen long ago, but better late then never.

Stud of the Show: Kris Statlander

Statlander entered enemy territory and still emerged with the victory.

Match of the Night: Ricky Starks & Big Bill Morrissey vs. Bryan Danielson & Claudio Castagnoli

Fiery intensity with a sneaky good finish.

Grade: B

Collision was an entertaining evening of action. There was a splash of unexpected results to keep the show feeling fresh into the future. Promos were in overabundance, but they all had purpose to advance narratives. All in all, it was a well rounded show.

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

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