AEW Collision Preview for September 23, 2023
After a huge pair of GRAND SLAM 2023 events at Arthur Ashe Stadium, All Elite Wrestling comes to Grand Rapids and the Van Andel Arena for a huge edition of COLLISION! The AEW World Tag Team Championship will be on the line as The Workhorsemen of Anthony Henry and JD Drake answer FTR's Open Challenge and the TNT Championship will be at stake in a Three Way between champion Luchasaurus, his “mentor” Christian Cage, and 2-Time former champ Darby Allin!
In addition to those title fights, Bryan Danielson and Ricky Starks will go to war in a Texas Death Match, Andrade El Idolo and “King Switch” are set to lock horns, and AEW welcomes back Michigan's own Rob Van Dam after his clash with Jack Perry several weeks ago.
The show begins at 8:00pm ET/7:00pm CT on TNT so be sure to swing by the official AEW YouTube channel for highlights from this week's GRAND SLAM 2023 episodes of DYNAMITE and RAMPAGE, as well as the latest edition of CONTROL CENTER, and so much more!
TEXAS DEATH MATCH...
“The American Dragon” Bryan Danielson vs. “Absolute” Ricky Starks
Though he may have been beaten at ALL OUT 2023 in their Strap Match, “Absolute” Ricky Starks showed once again that he is among the toughest individuals in All Elite Wrestling. It's a textbook case of not judging a book by its cover, because upon first glance no one would expect Starks to be one to throw down with a strap the way he did with “The American Dragon” in Chicago. It wasn't the first time Ricky showed his grit, it certainly won't be the last, but it more so than any other instance, it caused many people to stand up and take notice, especially Bryan Danielson and The Blackpool Combat Club.
Well this Saturday night, after pinning Danielson in their tag team match last week, Ricky Starks is going to have to tap into every bit of that grit, that willingness to do violence, that dark side of himself, if he hopes to survive Texas Death with as sadistic a man as Bryan Danielson.
This is the man who actually relished finishing off Okada with a broken arm at FORBIDDEN DOOR 2023, who enjoys fighting through pain and blood, and takes great pleasure in inflicting them upon his opponents as well. Starks felt it in Chicago as Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat watched along, and he is undoubtedly going to feel it again this Saturday in Grand Rapids. The question is whether or not Starks can take what Bryan dishes out, endure it, and come out on top this time. He now knows what lengths Danielson is wiling to go to, what sort of punishment he's willing to endure in order to get to victory, so now Ricky has an idea of where he has to push himself in order to do the same in Texas Death.
Starks has talked about his cycle of building up, breaking down, and starting all over again throughout his AEW career, but there will be no breakdown if he defeats Danielson this Saturday night. There will only be building himself up if he can keep Bryan down for a ten count, if he can defeat the greatest professional wrestler of the last twenty years in front of AEW's worldwide audience. But if he can't overcome this obstacle, if Ricky Starks comes up short, then it is back to the beginning of his cycle once again, and this time, there may be no climbing back towards the pinnacle of the mountain...
AEW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH...
FTR (Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood)(c) vs. The Workhorsemen (Anthony Henry & JD Drake)
“Who are you?”
Those were the insulting words thrown at JD Drake and Anthony Henry by the AEW fans as they slid up to FTR and made their intentions to challenge for the AEW World Tag Team Championship known. FTR, having just turned away the challenge of The Iron Savages, were more than willing to accept the challenge because they knew what was on the table, and just what the men stepping up to take away their belts had to offer.
So with a WRESTLEDREAM collision with Aussie Open looming in a week, can FTR retain their belts once again and move on to that IWGP Tag Title rematch from NJPW ROYAL QUEST 2 last October? Or shall we see The Workhorsemen shock the world and take the belts with them to Seattle on October 1st?
TNT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH...
Luchasaurus(c) vs. Christian Cage vs. Darby Allin
So how exactly does this breakdown for Christian Cage? After losing in the tag match on RAMPAGE, he now has to step into the ring with Darby Allin and Luchasaurus to vie for the TNT Championship he's been claiming as his own for months now. It is very clear he's banking on the defending champion to follow his orders and treat this like a glorified handicap match, but when it comes down to the TNT Title being at stake, will his Right Hand of Destruction blindly fall in line?
Think about it; this is the first singles championship that Luchasaurus has held in All Elite Wrestling, and contrary to appearances, i.e. Christian Cage carrying the title belt around, it is he who has successfully defended the title, he who is at risk of losing the title on Saturday, and he who has the most to lose because of Christian's gamble on this match.
So in his shoes, what would you do? Would you follow the leader and allow Christian Cage to become TNT Champion in fact as well as fiction? Would you willingly let the title that you earned slip away because of the whims of one of the worst humans ever to enter a professional wrestling ring? That is the situation on the table come COLLISION because there is no doubt, should Cage and Luchasaurus eliminate Darby from the equation, that Cage would expect his Right Hand to lay down and sacrifice the TNT Championship to him.
What will Luchasaurus do if and when that moment comes? Does he have the willpower to do what is right for himself, or will he bow to Christian Cage's will? And where does Darby fit into all of this? Is this a situation he can exploit to his benefit and finally claim the TNT Championship for a third time? One can imagine that the possibility of walking into Seattle at WRESTLEDREAM as the reigning TNT Champion is at least in the back of Darby's brain...
BACK IN THE HOUSE...
FTW Champion HOOK & Rob Van Dam vs. Angelo Parker & Matt Menard
It has been nine years since Rob Van Dam competed inside the walls of the Van Andel Arena, the site where he defeated Jeff Hardy in a Ladder Match to unify a pair of championships, where he fought Christian Cage to a No Contest, and the city, albeit a different venue, where he and Sabu defended Tag Team Championship gold against The Dudleyz. This Saturday night RVD returns to Grand Rapids, just an hour from his Battle Creek origins, and makes his return to AEW competition! Who will step up to battle the Michigan native? Tune into COLLISION on TNT starting at 8pm to see who takes on the challenge!
-Andrade El Idolo vs. “Switchblade” Jay White
Last week, after Andrade El Idolo defeated Scorpio Sky with the Figure 8 submission, BULLET CLUB GOLD came out in full force, not for a fight, but for “Switchblade” Jay White to run off at the mouth about El Idolo. Ultimately what came out of it was this first-time singles match between the head of the Bang Bang Gang and Andrade! Now we know El Idolo has had groups surrounding him in the past, but he now enters into the fight solo while “King Switch” is surrounded by Juice Robinson and The Gunns. Will the numbers game be the deciding factor in this contest, or will Jay White find himself falling to Andrade as so many others have before him?
COLLISION arrives at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, MI this Saturday night, and the card is stacked! The AEW World Tag Team Championship and the TNT Championship will be up for grabs, the former between FTR and The Workhorsemen, with the latter between Luchasaurus, Darby Allin, and Christian Cage! Ricky Starks takes on Bryan Danielson in a Texas Death Match, Rob Van Dam will be in the house, and Andrade El Idolo will take on BULLET CLUB GOLD's “Switchblade” Jay White! The bouts begins at 8:00pm ET/7:00pm CT on TNT so drop in on the official AEW YouTube channel for highlights from this week's episodes of DYNAMITE and RAMPAGE, as well as the latest edition of CONTROL CENTER, and so much more!