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  • Writer's pictureAEW Staff

AEW Collision and Battle of the Belts IX Preview for January 13, 2024



Saturday night is loaded up with All Elite Wrestling action as we present three loaded hours of the best professional wrestling action on the planet between two back-to-back programs! For the first time since October 26, 2022, AEW returns to Norfolk's Chartway Arena and with it comes both COLLISION and BATTLE OF THE BELTS IX! The former will feature “Hangman” Adam Page coming back to Norfolk for the first time since November 2021 where he arrived the new AEW World Champion, Adam Copeland laying out another Open Challenge as he fights towards another TNT Championship opportunity, The Mogul Embassy defending the ROH World Six-Man Championship against Lance Archer and The Righteous, and Deonna Purrazzo making her COLLISION debut against Red Velvet!



For the ninth edition of BATTLE OF THE BELTS, Chris Jericho will use the title opportunity he earned at FULL GEAR 2023 when he teams with Sammy Guevara to challenge Big Bill and Ricky Starks for the AEW World Tag Team Championship titles! Plus, after Anna Jay's team defeat Julia Hart's on DYNAMITE this past Wednesday night, “The Queen Slayer” will face “The Princess of the Black Throne” for her TBS Championship title, and Orange Cassidy will put his AEW International Championship on the line against LFI's Preston Vance!


The night begins with COLLISION at 8pm ET/7pm CT on TNT, followed immediately by BATTLE OF THE BELTS IX, and fans can get prepared for the action-packed evening by visiting the official AEW YouTube channel, as well as AEW's other social media platforms, for highlights from this week's DYNAMITE and RAMPAGE, as well as the latest CONTROL CENTER, and so much more!


COLLISION

OPEN CHALLENGE...

Adam Copeland vs. ???



After being robbed of his TNT Championship triumph by Killswitch at WORLDS END, and then having to watch that monster turn his moment over to Christian Cage rather than capitalize on it himself, Adam Copeland is a very angry man. But as someone who understands taking advantage of opportunities when they present themselves, Copeland can't fault the former Luchasaurus from trying to seize his moment, but he can look towards Christian Cage as the target of his rage. Copeland may be able to claim a rematch as the former champion, but he's chosen to play the game “The Patriarch” has laid out, start from scratch, and work his way back towards another shot at Christian and the TNT Championship.


It began last week when a brave Griff Garrison slapped Copeland across the face in response to Adam's first Open Challenge, and although it ended with Griff tapping out, it showed a more aggressive side to the young man than we've seen in the past. This week on COLLISION, Copeland will lay out another Open Challenge and wait to see just who answers the call for a fight! There are plenty of men in the AEW locker room who dream of using the Hall of Famer as their own personal stepping stone, but all they have to do is ask Griff Garrison just how different that dream can be from the reality!


ROH WORLD SIX-MAN CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH...

The Mogul Embassy (Bishop Kaun, Brian Cage & Toa Liona)(c) vs. Lance Archer & The Righteous (Dutch & Vincent) 



What an unexpected treat this fight is going to be! Six of the roughest, toughest competitors in professional wrestling locking horns with the ROH World Six-Man Championship titles at stake this Saturday night on COLLISION! The Mogul Embassy are in the midst of their second reign with the titles, having defeated The Elite back on the November 1st edition of DYNAMITE, and sending The Gates of Agony off to New Japan's World Tag League Tournament on a high note. 


Upon their return, Bishop Kaun and Toa Liona reunited with Brian Cage at ROH's FINAL BATTLE 2023 event to make their first successful defense of this second reign over TMDK representatives Bad Dude Tito, Kosei Fujita, and Shane Haste. The trio were back in action together this past Wednesday night during DYNAMITE: HOMECOMING 2024, only this time joined by a fourth man in Lance Archer, as they faced Preston Vance, Adam Copeland, Dustin Rhodes, and AEW International Champion Orange Cassidy. Communication broke down, Archer accidentally hit Toa Liona, which in turn led to Brian Cage and Lance Archer coming to blows, and the whole thing falling apart until Bishop Kaun got pinned by Vance.



So this Saturday night on COLLISION, the ROH World Six-Man Champions look to even the score with Lance Archer, but in order to do so they'll have to put those titles on the line against the nascent team of The Righteous and “The Murderhawk Monster”! Under the guidance of Jake “The Snake” Roberts, they are a dangerous trio who could easily bring an end to The Mogul Embassy's grip on this Six-Man Championship titles! Vincent and Dutch are familiar with them, having held the belts with Bateman for 224 days from FINAL BATTLE 2021: END OF AN ERA to DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR 2022, and would love to have them in their possession once again, especially with a behemoth like Lance Archer at their side!


THE VIRTUOSA COMES TO COLLISION...

“The Virtuosa” Deonna Purrazzo vs. Red Velvet



It was just over a week ago that “The Virtuosa” Deonna Purrazzo crashed the in-ring debut of Mariah May, declared herself to be All Elite, and made it clear her sights were set on “Timeless” Toni Storm's AEW Women's World Championship! It was the first time Purrazzo had been in an AEW ring since her ROH Women's World Title fight with Mercedes Martinez on May 4, 2022, but back then she was not a part of the AEW roster. This Saturday night on COLLISION, when she steps into the ring against Red Velvet, Purrazzo will be an official member of All Elite Wrestling, and thus beginning her own march towards the title coveted by all the women under the AEW banner. 


Eleven times in her career Deonna has worn a championship around her waist, including that ROH Women's World Title and the AAA Reina de Reinas Championship, but her aim to make the AEW crown her twelfth could very well be stifled by Red Velvet with their mutual COLLISION debut! In November, Red returned from a nine month injury layoff hungry to get back into a title picture, but she has instead been frustrated by the competitors she has faced. This moment that Deonna Purrazzo aims to make her own could be the one Red Velvet steals to put the spotlight back on her own quest to become the top women in AEW.


It's a tremendous opportunity for Red Velvet, but the pressure is certainly on Deonna Purrazzo to deliver in her debut as an official member of the All Elite Wrestling roster! Purrazzo has the experience advantage, ten years already under her belt at just 29 years of age, but AEW has been Red Velvet's home for nearly four years, and she intends to remind everyone just who stirs it up around here!


TRIOS GRUDGE MATCH...

Daniel Garcia and FTR (Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood) vs. The House of Black (Brody King, Buddy Matthews



Last week FTR defeated The House of Black, as honored by Buddy Matthews and Malakai Black, in their very first tag team contest, but the meatier story was all that surrounded Dax's pinfall on Buddy. Prior to the end, Brody King made his way to ringside to help his brothers, but was instead cutoff by a chair-wielding Daniel Garcia, the young man serving as equalizer for The House's attempt to tip the scales in their favor.


What followed was an all-out assault by The House perpetrated on Dax, Cash, and Garcia, while TBS Champion Julia Hart rang the bell in what can only be likened to a ten bell salute. The message was clear, as was The House's intent to bury these three individuals, and it looks like the former AEW World Trios Champions will have their opportunity this Saturday night on COLLISION! Aside from a common foe, the only crossing of paths between Daniel Garcia and FTR was a superb HOUSE RULES: TUPELO fight between Garcia and Dax Harwood back in June. They are an inexperienced trio fighting former Trios Champions who hold the record for longest reign in the history of the titles; there's no doubt FTR and Daniel Garcia are at a disadvantage from the standpoint of working together, but their hunger for a fight, and for revenge after last week, may just be the x-factor that carries them to victory in Saturday night's fight!


BATTLE OF THE BELTS IX

AEW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP STREET FIGHT...

Big Bill & Ricky Starks(c) vs. Chris Jericho & Sammy Guevara




Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara are no strangers to tag team competition, they netted their very first tag team victory on the second episode of DYNAMITE way back on 10/9/19, and unsuccessfully challenged for the AEW World Tag Titles a month later against Scorpio Sky and Frankie Kazarian. All told, the pair are 7-5 as team since the inception of All Elite Wrestling, but this championship bout on Saturday night comes after a strained relationship turned to betrayal which in turn led to a reunion only a few weeks ago. Jericho and Sammy lived through The Inner Circle together, through the Jericho Appreciation Society together, and even after The J.A.S. fell apart, it seemed Guevara would at least be the one who remained a Jericho-supporter. Yet shockingly, “The Spanish God” did betray Jericho to ally himself with Don Callis and even fought Jericho at WRESTLEDREAM 2023 with Takeshita and Will Ospreay as his partners.


But that match would ultimately tell Guevara everything he needed to know about the poor choice he had made in picking Don Callis, not to say that Jericho himself was a saint over the course of AEW, but neither was Guevara. See “The Spanish God” suffered a serious concussion over the course of that Trios fight in Seattle, and while he was absent from AEW competition, so too was he absent from the mind of Don Callis. No contact, no care, Callis showed not the least bit of concern for Guevara's health, and that became abundantly clear when Guevara did finally return to AEW during Callis' self-congratulatory Boxing Day Celebration.


Guevara ended up on the wrong end of an assault from The Don Callis Family, not that it was a surprise Callis sicced his dogs on “The Spanish God”, but what was a shock was Chris Jericho rushing to the aid of his former friend. An even bigger shock was the two men hugging after the fact, Sting and Darby Allin helping them out when an Ricky Starks and Big Bill launched an attack of their own, and the foursome actually beating Starks, Bill, Takeshita, and Powerhouse Hobbs at WORLDS END. 


With that victory it was clear that Guevara and Jericho were back on the same page, and that in turn led Chris Jericho to choose Sammy as his partner for this AEW World Tag Team Championship bout! The title shot came about from Jericho and Kenny Omega defeating The Young Bucks at FULL GEAR 2023, but when Omega was forced to step away from AEW to handle his diverticulitis, that left Jericho without a partner to take advantage of the championship opportunity. After all, given everything he'd done to the men in AEW, who would possibly want to team up with “Le Champion” even with a guaranteed title match as part of the deal?


To look towards the future, Jericho certainly had to repair the past, and apparently make amends for what he'd done to Sammy Guevara, and presumably “The Spanish God” also making his apologies for those actions taken several months ago. So now that they're back on the same page, now that the bond of friendship has been reignited, can they topple Big Bill and Ricky Starks? Unlike Jericho and Guevara, the defending champions are not friends, their relationship is not contingent on being best friends, in fact sometimes it seems like they barely know one another outside of the time they spend fighting side-by-side. The important part to Big Bill and Ricky Starks isn't a personal relationship, but rather a professional one that keeps the AEW World Tag Team Championship in their possession as long as humanly possible, and if the day comes that it ends, the two men will bid each other farewell and head back onto their own paths. 


So in some ways, this fight is a question of which method of conducting your business proves better? Is it the bonds of friendship that make for stronger tag team success, or the bond of business? Will the history of Sammy and Chris be their key to ending the reign of Big Bill and Ricky Starks, or will all their drama over the last five year be their undoing? We will see this Saturday night during BATTLE OF THE BELTS IX!


TBS CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH...

Julia Hart(c) vs. Anna Jay



This past Wednesday night on DYNAMITE, TBS Champion Julia Hart and Anna Jay were on opposite sides of an Eight-Woman Tag, with the latter competing in memory of her late-mentor Mr. Brodie Lee. Perhaps it was Lee's memory, perhaps it was being back in Jacksonville at Daily's Place, whatever the case may be, it motivated Anna Jay's team towards victory, with “The Queen Slayer” herself scoring the deciding pinfall over Julia Hart!



Clearly it was a very emotional situation for Anna Jay, but that victory has catapulted her into this championship situation on Saturday night during BOTB IX! Riding on the motivation of that Wednesday night victory, Anna Jay has to remember that Julia Hart holds two decisive victories over her, one in a wild No Holds Barred Match back on May 10th of 2023. Conversely, Anna Jay has no wins over Julia, not directly at least, just this multi-man pinfall over a member of Hart's team on Wednesday night. In addition, this match marks Anna Jay's fifth TBS Championship bid since the title's inception at the beginning of 2022, will it be the night she finally claims it as her own?


AEW INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH...

Orange Cassidy(c) vs. LFI's Preston Vance



On Wednesday night, as part of DYNAMITE: HOMECOMING 2024, AEW International Champion Orange Cassidy and Preston Vance were on the same side of an eight-man tag bout, a match won by Vance when he pinned Bishop Kaun. As a reward for that victory, Orange Cassidy has offered Preston Vance an opportunity to vie for the International Championship this Saturday night during BATTLE OF THE BELTS IX, coincidentally also the last championship Vance challenged for back in October 2022. That night it was as part of a Three Way bout with RUSH and then All-Atlantic Champion Orange Cassidy, with Cassidy in the earliest days of his historic championship reign, making his first defense after defeating PAC a week prior.


Fast forward some 15 months and these two competitors will meet again, only now in a singles bout, their first since September 30, 2020, and with the International Championship at stake! Can Vance take that next step in his career and rise to championship status? Or will Cassidy continue on in his goal to surpass the records he set with his previous title run?



The night begins with COLLISION at 8pm ET/7pm CT on TNT, followed immediately by BATTLE OF THE BELTS IX, and fans can get prepared for the action-packed evening by visiting the official AEW YouTube channel, as well as AEW's other social media platforms, for highlights from this week's DYNAMITE and RAMPAGE, as well as the latest CONTROL CENTER, and so much more! Between the two events, we've got an AEW World Tag Team Championship match, a ROH World Six-Man Championship Match, a TBS Championship fight, Adam Copeland in action, Hangman Page returning to Virginia, and so much more! Do not miss out on this loaded night featuring the premiere professional wrestlers of All Elite Wrestling!



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