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It Might Be Monday...But Fighting is for Saturdays! - AEW Collision - 05/08/23

Saturday night was far from the first time a man claiming to be the true world champion wrestled in a ring in Greenville, South Carolina, but it was CM Punk's first time.

In the main event of Collision, The Best in the World defended his version of the title against Ricky Starks, a contest that had been weeks in the making.

The fight was the main event of a show that also included two additional championship matches.

How does this affect All Elite Wrestling's journey to All In on August 27?

AEW World Tag Team Championship: FTR vs. Brian Cage and Big Bill

FTR maintained their unrivalled reign as AEW World Tag Team champions on Saturday, defeating Brian Cage and Big Bill in a high-energy opener in which they absorbed the opposition's power and savagery while capitalising on a miscommunication to deliver the Shatter Machine for the victory.

The challengers looked like a strong duo straight out of the 1980s, while FTR looked less Midnight Express and more Rockers as they erupted back into the battle with amazing babyface fury and had the crowd eating out of their fingers.

It's a fight between two top teams with lots of credibility based on their accomplishments, and it instantly boosts that pay-per-view card.

TBS Championship Match: Kris Statlander vs. Mercedes Martinez

Kris Statlander held off a determined Mercedes Martinez attack to retain the TBS Championship, outwrestling her with a late rollup.

The match was terrific and tough, and Statlander's babyface fire kept the audience interested. The post-fight developments, including Diamante's heel turn and apparent alignment with Mercedes as they beat down the champion, appeared to ensure the feud continued, while Willow Nightingale's appearance suggested at a tag team match.

If Collision is going to be a place for new faces, character and plot development, and lengthier in-ring action, this writer is all for it.

Martinez, Diamante, and Statlander are too good not to be on television, and any chance to watch Willow is a bonus.

Is Toni Storm ok?

Toni Storm questioned whether she was still a star after her Dynamite main event loss against Hikaru Shida during a backstage interview with Tony Schiavone.

She rushed off the set after realising she was no longer the women's world champion.

I’m sorry? What now Samoa Joe!?!

In the ring, Samoa Joe defeated Serpentico with the Coquina Clutch in the shortest bout in Collision history.

Following that, he declared his desire to face CM Punk at Wembley Stadium on August 27 at All In, citing a disappointing conclusion to their last match on Collision.

I have one word for this… Yes

House of Black vs Johnson, Andretti and Martin

Malakai Black, Brody King, and Buddy Matthews successfully defended their AEW World Trios Championship against "Big Shotty" Lee Johnson, Action Andretti, and Darius Martin on Saturday.

The contest was as exciting as one would expect given the talent, especially at the end. The champions thwarted one final comeback attempt to retain the gold and set up a meeting with CM Punk and FTR on next week's show, as stated by Riccaboni on commentary following the match.

Another outstanding performance for a House of Black that is finally gaining traction, this nicely set the stage for what will be a dream match of sorts between two of AEW's most famous and high-powered trios on next week's show.

Metalik vs. Jay White

This week, Jay White returned to Collision, defeating Metalik in a match that was little more than a warm-up for "Switchblade" after the tag team title fight loss to FTR.

Metalik was able to exhibit some of his skills after being free of the Lucha House Party bullshit from his previous promotion, but White eventually knocked him down with the Blade Runner and got both he and Bullet Club Gold back on track.

The faction remains one of the Collision brand's focal points, and it will be intriguing to see where White, Juice Robinson, and the Gunns go as All In and All Out approaches.

It is not immediately visible right now.

REAL World Championship Match: CM Punk vs. Ricky Starks

In the main event of Saturday's Collision, CM Punk maintained the so-called "REAL" World Championship by defeating Ricky Starks in a pay-per-view-quality battle in which guest enforcer Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat prevented the challenger from cheating.

The encounter demonstrated that Starks is a legitimate major eventer, not just in the future, but right now. He has frequently demonstrated his ability to compete with AEW's best stars, and this was no exception. The timing was perfect; he was exactly where he needed to be at all times.

Steamboat's post-match assault garnered him true heel heat and completely shifted the fans in Punk's favour, the first time it happened all night.

Starks' actions signal that the animosity with Punk will continue in some shape or manner, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially since Tony Khan and company have positioned him as one of the faces of this new Saturday night brand.


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