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AEW Collision Preview for June 17, 2023



We are finally here; the premiere of AEW COLLISION this Saturday night, hailing from the United Center in Chicago, IL, and kicking off at 8:00PM ET/7:00pm CT on TNT, as well as at AEWPlus.com for our international audiences! After nine long months, former 2-Time AEW World Champion CM Punk returns to All Elite Wrestling for a massive Trios bout pitting he and AEW World Tag Champions FTR against BULLET CLUB GOLD and ROH World TV Champion Samoa Joe! And he's not the only one making their way back to an AEW ring: Miro will be back in action, as will Andrade El Idolo, plus COLLISION will host a TNT Championship match between Wardlow and Luchasaurus, as well as a tag match between The Outcasts, NJPW STRONG Women's Champion Willow Nightingale, and Skye Blue!


And with this being the premiere edition of COLLISION, who knows what else could go down in the Windy City! Do not miss out as AEW heads into a new era with the premiere of this prime time broadcast, and be sure to visit the official AEW YouTube channel for highlights from recent episodes of DYNAMITE and RAMPAGE, as well as the latest editions of ROAD TO, THE CONTROL CENTER, and much, much more!


TRIOS MAIN EVENT!

CM Punk & AEW World Tag Team Champions FTR (Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood) vs. BULLET CLUB GOLD (Jay White & Juice Robinson) & ROH World TV Champion Samoa Joe



After nine months, since his injury at ALL OUT 2022, former 2-Time AEW World Champion CM Punk returns to All Elite Wrestling in the same venue where he first chose to step back into a wrestling ring. The United Center in Chicago, IL will once again host Punk's arrival in AEW, this time a bit of a second coming if you will, and as part of a brand-new show under the AEW banner no less! Plus, for the first time in over year, Punk will reunite with AEW World Tag Team Champions FTR to step back into competition. They proved quite an effective trio in that Fabulous Forum debut in June 2022, and now they will have an opportunity to see if that magic was more than just a one night stand when they face the threesome of Juice Robinson, “Switchblade” Jay White, and the ROH World Television Champion Samoa Joe.

That third name there, the former ROH World Champion who just happens to also be the longest reigning one in Ring of Honor history, his addition to this match adds a whole new historical wrinkle to the bout. See in 2004, over the course of three matches that ROH faithful simply referred to as The Trilogy, Samoa Joe and CM Punk engaged in three absolute classics with that ROH World Championship at stake.


The first took place on 6/12/04 in Dayton, OH, at a show dubbed WORLD TITLE CLASSIC, and saw CM Punk push Joe harder than anyone ever had in his, to that point, 15 month title reign. For one hour they battled over the championship, but no matter what Punk threw at the champion, he was unable to best Joe, but neither was the champion able to defeat his challenger. After 60 minutes in the sweatbox Montgomery County Fairgrounds, Joe and Punk were at a stalemate, but what they created in that ring helped save Ring of Honor at a time when the company was on the brink of collapse.


But they weren't done: on 10/16/04, at an event in Chicago Ridge, IL that could only be called JOE VS. PUNK II, the two warriors once again went to a 60 minute draw, and their efforts were rewarded with not only the first 5-Star rated match in ROH history, but also the first one in the United States given said rating since October 1997. It was a landmark event for independent wrestling, for both Joe and Punk, and for ROH. It was one of their biggest selling DVD releases of all-time, and was another bout that forced the eyes of the wrestling world to look at what Ring of Honor brought to the table.


Their third bout at ALL-STAR EXTRAVAGANZA II in December of that year was not a 60-Minute affair, despite being announced as having no time limit, but rather a bloody affair in which Samoa Joe, ever an honorable champion, actually resorted to a light bit of cheating in his desperate efforts to defeat a bloody Punk. The victory would go to Joe, his last successful title defense before his historic reign was ended at FINAL BATTLE 2004, and a match that many long-time ROH fans point to as the best of their trilogy.


It wasn't the last of their battles, though the last singles one in Ring of Honor, but it helped to define what ROH meant to professional wrestling, helped to define the careers of both individuals, and now for the first time since 8/12/05, Samoa Joe and CM Punk will share the same ring. Factor in FTR teaming with Punk, the BULLET CLUB GOLD duo in competition so close to FORBIDDEN DOOR 2023 when New Japan Pro Wrestling comes calling, and this premiere edition of COLLISION is loaded just on this match alone!


And then there is the great unknown of what CM Punk will have to say when a microphone is placed in his hand; he's already expressed that there's a great deal to get off his chest, and fans worldwide know that has the potential to be explosive given his track record over the years! All that makes this a can't miss offering from All Elite Wrestling on Saturday night on TNT!

TNT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH...

Wardlow(c) vs. Luchasaurus


The defending TNT Champion has already beaten Christian Cage at his own game, toppling the man in a Ladder Match at DOUBLE OR NOTHING 2023, and retaining the title as a result. The involvement of Luchasaurus and Arn Anderson in the contest though, that has shaped the last couple weeks since the fight, and led to Brock Anderson getting brutalized by the pair, as well as to Arn himself getting battered by Christian and the former AEW World Tag Team Champion.


Ultimately though, no matter what happens outside the ring, here in All Elite Wrestling it comes down to what happens between the ropes, and that is why Christian Cage's Right Hand of Destruction will get an opportunity of his own to dethrone “The War Dog” as TNT Champion!

This bout will mark Luchasaurus' first shot at the TNT Championship, and only his second opportunity to claim a singles title in All Elite Wrestling after challenging Orange Cassidy for the All-Atlantic Championship on the 11/2/22 edition of DYNAMITE. It will also be the second time that these two monsters of AEW have fought in singles competition, the first taking place on the June 24, 2020 edition of DYNAMITE, and in a Lumberjack Match no less!

That night in Jacksonville, Wardlow was victorious, but clearly neither man is the same individual they were three years ago. Wardlow has become his own man, free of Maxwell Jacob Friedman, and has laid claim to the TNT Championship on three occasions now. Luchasaurus has (de)evolved from one-half of Jurassic Express, a World Tag Team Championship team alongside “Jungle Boy”, to an instrument of destruction operating at the behest of Christian Cage. Furthermore, this bout will be the first of any kind for Luchasaurus since the FULL GEAR 2022 Steel Cage Match loss against Jack Perry, and that makes this Saturday night's fight an interesting test for Luchasaurus as well.

Will Wardlow be able to continue his TNT Championship reign in the face of both Luchasaurus and Christian Cage? Or will he succumb to the odds advantage should Arn Anderson be unable to balance the scales after being victimized on Wednesday night?


TAG TEAM BOUT...

NPW Strong Women’s Champion Willow Nightingale & Skye Blue vs. The Outcasts (Ruby Soho & AEW Women's World Champion Toni Storm)


This past Wednesday night, Skye Blue did her best to dethrone Toni Storm as AEW Women's World Champion, but as is always the case when it comes to The Outcasts, their numbers advantage and willingness to bend the rules proved the deciding factor in the match, and once again Toni Storm escaped with the championship in her possession.


The assault that would follow the match would bring NJPW STRONG Women's Champion Willow Nightingale out to stem the beating, and has led us to this tag team affair going down on the premiere episode of AEW COLLISION. It feels rather appropriate that the NJPW STRONG Women's Champ would be in action so close to FORBIDDEN DOOR 2023, but this tag team bout is more about The Outcasts' relentless assault on the women of AEW than it is about either Nightingale's title or that of Toni's. That doesn't mean the result can't have championship implications, just that for this Saturday night it's about settling some scores rather than about defending championships.


MIRO RETURNS!


It has been since ALL OUT 2022 that we have seen Miro in competition inside an AEW ring, but this Saturday night the man called “The Redeemer” will return to in-ring competition! After all this time, what will Miro unleash upon the hapless foe placed across the ring from him in Chicago? Will he have anything to say to the AEW faithful in the United Center and watching around the world? Be sure to tune into TNT beginning at 8pm ET to see what the former TNT Champion will have to offer the AEW fans after all this time!


SINGLES MATCH...

Andrade El Idolo vs. AEW World Trios Champion Buddy Matthews


Another man who returns to All Elite Wrestling for the first time since ALL OUT 2022 is Andrade El Idolo, last seen in the Casino Ladder Match won that night by MJF ahead of his AEW World Championship victory over Jon Moxley at FULL GEAR 2022. This Saturday night, in his first singles match since the 6/24/22 edition of RAMPAGE, Andrade will be in action against one-third of the AEW World Trios Champions, The House of Black's Buddy Matthews!


Now where one HoB member treads, it is likely there's at least one more close behind, so unless Andrade has his own support system coming along for the ride, El Idolo best have eyes in the back of his head to look out for other House associates. With so much time off, the question is whether or not Andrade has remained in the peak physical condition he was operating when we last saw him, or if he's slacked off during this time away from the spotlight?Can Buddy shut down this singles challenge, or will Andrade make his return to AEW a triumphant one? Tune in Saturday night to find out how it unfolds!




With FORBIDDEN DOOR 2023 just around the corner, the premiere of AEW COLLISION comes to you this Saturday night at 8:00pm ET/7:00pm CT, as well as at AEWPlus.com for AEW's international fans, and it will feature a huge Trios match that marks the return of CM Punk!



Before the show begins, make a point to visit the official AEW YouTube channel for highlights from this week's episode of DYNAMITE, as well as the latest editions of ROAD TO, THE CONTROL CENTER, and much, much more!









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