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"I CALLED IT! I KNEW IT WOULD BE..." - AEW Collision REview - June 24 2023

It was Tony Khan's last opportunity to alter or add to the card because this was the last performance before Sunday's Forbidden Door pay-per-view.

On Saturday, the NJPW Strong women's champion Willow Nightingale faced off against Nyla Rose as part of the Owen Hart Cup Tournament.

Along with many other matches, we also witnessed CM Punk, FTR, and Ricky Starks fight against Jay White, Juice Robinson, and The Gunns.

Let's review what transpired on the final Collision episode before Forbidden Door.

Team CM FTRicky and Bullet Club Gold gave two promos at the beginning of the show to promote their upcoming match. It had an out-of-date vibe.

Mystery Partner Reveal

Chris Jericho and Minoru Suzuki interrupted Tony Schiavone as he entered the ring to welcome Sting and Darby Alling before they revealed their secret partner at Forbidden Door.

A demo God complained that Sting had him wait to find out who he would be competing against. He claimed that whoever it was was probably not as tough as the illustrious Suzuki. Sting and Allin appeared as he started to threaten Schiavone.

Jericho panicked when Allin mentioned that their mysterious partner has a history with him. When Tetsuya Naito's song began to play, he entered the stage all in white. He approached Jericho face-to-face and grinned.

Suzuki and The Demo God fled the ring without exchanging blows. This choice was one that many users of social media foresaw, but it doesn't make it terrible. Because of his relationship with Jericho in the past, Naito is a wise pick.

Although this part of the show wasn't very noteworthy, it did help to increase the rivalry between the two teams.

I FREAKIN CALLED IT!! I knew Naito would make an appearance! Gutted I’m not there in person now!

Swerve Strickland vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi

I’m going to start by saying that any time Tanahashi is on the card…. It’s a great show!

Swerve Strickland was joined by Prince Nana as he entered the ring for the opening bout of the evening against Hiroshi Tanahashi.

Tana posed in the corner and received a warm response from the Toronto audience. As he and Swerve circled one another before locking up, the audience yelled his name.

Before Tanahashi delivered a low dropkick, they made a little air guitar sarcasm between themselves. As we went to a break, the head of The Mogul Embassy immediately regained control, pinned him in the apron, and delivered a kick to the face.

This was a great back-and-forth exchange between two individuals with comparable abilities. Although it was obvious that both competitors were trying to save Tanahashi's health for his important PPV encounter on Sunday, they still managed to make the fight feel exciting.

There was a lot of showboating, which the audience seems to find entertaining. Although it wasn't immediately memorable, this was good enough to introduce Tanahashi to new fans before he fights MJF.

When Tanahashi was preparing for his finisher, he nearly fell off the top turnbuckle, but Swerve was astute enough to help him make up for the error. Before the music from MJF began, Tana briefly celebrated after scoring the pin.

On the tron, the AEW champion made a threat to humiliate him at Forbidden Dor. In order for him to leave Toronto as soon as possible, he said Tony Khan agreed to have their match shown first.

Brody King vs. Andrade El Idolo

Andrade El Idolo faced Brody King on Saturday, another member of The House of Black, after defeating Buddy Matthews in his return bout the previous week.

As the fight got underway, the announcers made sure to mention that Andrade's shoulder was a weakness for him while it was taped up.

El Idolo was pushed around a little by King's size, but the former NXT champion overcame it with quickness and agility. He even performed a huge moonsault from the top rope to the floor, which elicited a "Holy s--t" chant from the audience.

King threw some particularly hard blows throughout the contest. You could clearly hear the impact of each chop even as the crowd was cheering. Both fighters had opportunities to shine in different ways throughout this very physical fight. They made sure the audience received their money's worth out of this performance.

Hart diverted Andrade's attention by picking up his mask, but this only prevented him from donning the Figure Eight for a little period of time.

As soon as he had it locked in, Matthews slid into the ring and unexpectedly attacked him, leading to a disqualification.

While the other members of HOB posed in the ring, Malakai Black emerged on the tron. Even though the result might not have made many people happy, this competition was flawless in every other respect.

After the interval, Christian Cage and the newly crowned TNT champion Luchasaurus emerged for a conversation. But Cage was the one who brought the belt into the ring. A entertaining reign as the champion for Luchasaurus should be set up by his excellent heel promo.

Willow Nightingale vs. Nyla Rose

The following match was between Willow Nightingale and Nyla Rose in the women's Owen Hart Cup Tournament quarterfinals.

The Native Beast approached the ring with Marina Shafir at her side and took a good, long look at the Owen Cup. They were trying to gauge each other's strength from the beginning because these two are among the most prominent ladies in AEW.

The NJPW Strong women's champion stayed in the bout despite Rose being the one to initially seize the initiative. Rose was in charge and they battled through a commercial. Willow started to retaliate.

This was a strong contest between two athletes with many comparable traits, however at times the tempo was a little slower than it should have been. Following a Pounce, WIllow used a Doctor Bomb to pin Rose and secure the victory.

When The Outcasts arrived and surrounded the ring, Skye Blue dashed there carrying a steel chair to level the playing field and drive them away. Although there was no physical altercation, Toni Storm and Willow will now likely cross paths.

Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Jeremy Prophet

Powerhouse Hobbs was competing against Jeremy Prophet, a talented local athlete. As you might have guessed, this match did not go on for very long.

CMFTRicky vs. The Gunns and Bullet Club Gold

A massive eight-man tag battle featuring CM Punk, Dax Harwood, Cash Wheeler, and Ricky Starks competing against Juice Robinson, Jay White, Austin, and Colten Gunn served as the evening's main event.

White and Punk made their teams' debuts. Punk shoved Switchblade to demonstrate that he wasn't intimidated when he tried to taunt him. Juice received a positive response from the audience once White eventually tagged out to him.

Throughout the entire game, the audience was really loud. It was difficult to determine which team had more support than the other because the crowd alternated between booing and cheering depending on who was in the ring at any one time.

This was a good bout, however at times the loud cheers for Punk became annoying. The majority of what we saw was good since everyone did a fantastic job performing their respective roles.

Punk was undoubtedly enjoying some of the jeers he was hearing, but it was obvious that his team was still focused on the babyface side. The rest of Punk's team actually received supportive reactions since the audience made an effort to just jeer Punk when he was the legal guy.

Juice teased using his own finishing to smash Punk, but The Second City Saviour blocked him. This started a protracted phase in which both sides were involved.

White's finisher hit Starks at the end of the fight, giving him an unexpected victory and leaving me shocked they would have Punk loose so quickly... needed early on so her doesn't go on a rampage (Like the joke!) but second show, honestly it shocks me!

It was announced however that MJF is making another debut next week on Collision so that will be interesting to watch!



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