After 17 long years, CM P unk is bound to face Samoah Joe in the ring. Unless, of course, we're talking about two weeks ago, in which case they were in the ring together.
They technically did face each other last Saturday night.
But doing a bash, that.
Was a bit of a while ago. Yes, but 17 years ago was the last time they actually had a match in Ring of honour.
What were you doing 17 years ago? Just for time content.
17 years ago as a wee boy, I would have been 18 years old. Goodness gracious. I would have just been on my way to university to make my fortune, I imagine.
What year was that? 10, 13, 7, 2005. 2005. 2005. I was doing my GCSEs.
I think you will do. Maybe I was doing my A levels. Maybe I was doing my A levels. Maybe you were even younger. I was smashing it, son.
Smashing it. Maybe you were doing 11 plus. Maybe you're so young.
Yeah, maybe. That's what it is.
That's what I'm telling people.
If you're going to lie about.
Your age, you'll.
Never find out my real age. If you're going to lie about your age and pretend you're younger, go all the way back. I'm 12.
Anyway, welcome to the Res Talk podcast. I'm Laurie Blake. I'm joined by Dan Leighton, the professor, and we are here to review AEW Collision from Saturday because I don't know if you know a lot of wrestling stuff happened this weekend.
A lot of wrestling stuff happened this month. Which is.
Just getting to it now, guys. Give us a break. It's busy. Can we.
Go through what happened in June? So at the end of May, we had Night of Champions, then we had Double or Nothing, then we had Battleground, then we had just a couple of weeks of normal programming, then we got Collision. We had live Collision, brand new show. Then this weekend we've got... Well, we had Forbidden Door, we had Money in the Bank, and now we have another episode of Collision. They're working our little socks off.
I know. And we decided in all of that time, we would build two studios, launch a bunch of new shows. We launched a channel in there that's called Cut Scene. You should go check that out.
Basically no one is working hard enough.
No, we're very silly. Anyway, let's discuss the show, Dan.
I think it's important that we do because it's a big story.
Because obviously we've not done a podcast together about the rest and this is fun.
We did one episode of What's On.
This might be the only thing we're allowed to do together. It's one because no one else is available because Tempest's off in Canada, Pete's off, Luke's off. They're all off. I'm sure I'll be back in the cupboard by the end of the week. However, it is fun to get to talk about wrestling, but also get to talk about collision because I think the first three weeks of collision have been a really fun little show.
Not necessarily loads happening, I think, storyline wise, but just a lot of good wrestling and given lots of time to just sink in and be like, I'm just enjoying the Saturday night grabs.
Well, I mean, forgive the pun, but I think dynamite recently has been dynamite. It's been since double nothing, especially. It's been really firing on all cylinders. And then out comes this little show and there was a little bit of, is punk going to be there? Are they not? We announced all the dates, say for the first one because we weren't sure about punk status. And then we got the confirmation. It's been now it's... Did you say.
They announced to save the dates for it? They did.
They did. They did. They said they'll say the date for collision. Little tissue paper and everything.
They're not telling you who's getting married. That's what AAB does.
You find out on the day.
But they've been hyping this idea, but we weren't sure then. We know it's the punk show. And then finally we get the first one. And it's really... What I think they've done really well is start to establish its own separate identity. It doesn't feel like a dynamite to me. It feels like a collision. You've got the color scheme, you've got the... I think the theme song is great. And by virtue of having fresh faces, and I'll get into that in the show, it is starting bit by bit to establish its own identity. And I think that's a really important thing whenever you launch a new product, because we were talking about it in the office upstairs. It's not like it's a brand new promotion who just launched their show. This is, A EW are making a new show. So it's got bit by bit, but they've got to feel that out. Like Tony Conners booker, we had Danielson's in creative, the creative team in general have to figure out, okay, how do we produce another two hours of television a week? How does that fit into our grand scheme of things? If we are going to soft cross to split it, keep people separately, does that create its own problems?
Does it create its own opportunities? And we're seeing that three weeks in. I think we're seeing the wheels are starting to turn.
That's how I put it.
One of the criticisms I would have of collision, I think, for the last three weeks is that it doesn't necessarily feel like there's loads going on story line wise. A lot of stuff is happening in terms of this good wrestling going on, but the stories are bubbling away slowly. It doesn't feel like there's many, many states. Like, M GF was on the show this week and didn't reference the fact that punk's got a bag with something in it that he thinks is the world tell. There was this stuff that's just being left up in the air on Collision a lot. And I was just thinking, while you were just talking now, I was just wondering in my head, do you think that's just because it's Saturday Night TV?
Like that take away.
The way that Saturday... There is an expectation that people will be out on Saturdays and you're going to have a transient audience because Saturday is a busy day for people. Saturday is typically a day people might be out of the house or they might be going out in the evening and have other plans. So keeping the show a little bit looser and a bit more focused on the wrestling and a bit easier to dive into at any point and go like, Okay, I get what they're doing here without having to watch... Imagine trying to watch the bloodline stuff in that sense of you're just dipping in and out of it. You want every single bit of it laid out for you because that's what makes it really sing.
It's an interesting choice as well because if you look at the week, if you look at the concept of the week, you've got Monday, it's obviously Raw, Raw is not going anywhere unless someone pays a lot of money and I think they probably would move it. But you got Monday nights is Raw, Tuesdays is Nxt, but Wednesday crucially is dynamite. So do you want to put your other show the night before or the night after dynamite? Probably not. Fridays, you've got smackdown.
And rampage. So they've also got... I was thinking about do we do count? And I do forget a lot, I'm guilty. Do they want to do counter programming thing, which I don't think is the worst thing in the age of streaming. I feel like there is a appointment television where live sports is really the only thing that exists linearly in schedule. You've got to sit down and watch it at the same time. But do you want to counter program wrestling against each other? Part of my big frustration with Nxt going directly up against dynamite was that, well, I want to watch both. How am I supposed to do that? It makes it bad for the consumer. I don't think that's necessarily a EW's idea. So Saturday, because Sunday is pay per view day.
For your company.
For your company. Yeah. Well, that's when we get it. And speaking of counter programming, that's why we've got so much stuff going on in there. It ain't slowing down anytime soon. Saturday is a weird day to put something on. I'm trying to think, it's a weird time because when they started Collision, we were just have to double in on thing, but we were leading into Forbidden Door. Starting new story lines for upcoming pay per views, not necessarily the emo.
Also, this episode was pre taped and not going up directly. Money in the Bank finished. We had a couple of hours if we're on the East Coast and you've got collision. So you could if you're a fan of both, you could watch both. So it's not necessarily the time for them to be really starting stories. Punks opening promo in that first episode did hint at I've got a lot of axes to grind. I've got a lot of things to take care of. I think as we go now that we're clear of Forbidden Door, we've got those out of the way, we're starting to establish what collision is, where it sits in our canon of AEW, removing all of wrestling from that. And we've got our eyes on All In. There was a big All In banner for the whole episode.
Big Fight Forever banner.
Big Fight Forever banner all over the place. Now that we're clear of previous live events that have already been in the works, we've got this new one that we've got on the way. This is where the stories can really begin. And I think to close Collision this week with a big angle, which is our lead story that we're going to talk about, is the first step of that.
Because previously it's just been the O in Show. This week was just the O in Episode 8. Let's do the admin for the tournament, get that out of the way. Which the tournament itself, there aren't really great stakes for this tournament.
Where do you sit on tournaments?
I think tournaments are great. They should lead somewhere. I think what's bugging me about the O in Tournament is that the prize is nothing. You know what I mean? It doesn't have any consequence to the rest of us. And I think also, like, A EW is so belt rich, should.
Say? Everyone's got a belt because all the ring of honour ones, we've got all the ring of honour ones. We've got individual belts for all different things. They keep adding more. So it's like winning something in A EW view does not necessarily mean, Oh, you're going to get a big thing out of this. It's just like, you know, Adam Cole won the last one, and here he is to go, I'm ready. That's what he gets to do. It doesn't feel like the prize is really big enough. A gain, in this situation, we've got someone in the tournament who it feels like this is their show. This is punk show. P unks got his little bag with his little title in it. It's like, does he need this as well? But this feels where this is trending, unless it's going to be maybe Ricky Stark in the final, which I can see being...
If you look at the brackets, you can see we have punk Joe confirmed, which is really exciting. I mean, that's a final in and of itself.
Punk Joe feels like it should have been the final to me. But I think punk Stark will be.
The final. Because I think that's a more interesting story because we've been establishing the stocks and punk are aligned against the bullet club goal or whatever. If we get to the final and it's punk stocks and that will be a banger of a match, first of all. And then you get a little element of punk turning on stocks because punk is his own. He marches to the beat of his own drum and that's why you love him a lot then. That's the whole punk thing. He's like, I've won my first thing back. I'm undefeated since coming back. I won this tournament, O and a half tournament, I've got this big trophy and I've got the bag as well. I've got two bragging rights. I never lost this. I had it taken from me in a position that I think is unfair and whether or not... And we'll talk about it when we get to him. Jf as well. But the thing with the heel is whether or not you as the audience agree with them, they have to believe they're right. And so I think setting this up for a punk to go off.
And win it... Always believes.
Right. I'd love to have that man's self confidence.
And also his insecurity. Has he ever had.
Imposter syndrome in his life?
I think it's imposter syndrome that drives him. I think that's what's so compelling about the character slash the man, the fantasy slash reality of it all. But yeah, I don't know. I think tournament wise in general, it is important to have stakes. And I actually do appreciate the during the show, I think they try to get every match a stake of some form. And we'll get into those as we go through. But when you think of like, and I bring specifically Wimbledon into this because I always like to compare wrestling to real sports. But Wimbledon specifically for two reasons. First of all, it starts today.
They've switched off, Dan. They're leaving it in their droves.
No, come on, real sports.
Real sports. They stick around guys. Talk about tennis.
Wimbledon begins today. And also Tony Khan specifically, I was doing research into where the tournament came from and Tony Khan specifically referenced Wimbledon. And that's why we have a men's in heart tournament and a women's. And the thing about Wimbledon is you have the first week or so where everyone's excited to be there. We're all excited for our Pims and our peaches and our strawberries and cream. And then we start caring when we get into the later stages. I think we're reaching the stages where we're starting to care and the stakes are really going to come in. And I think that's why this closing angle of punk on commentary, the 17 years since Strong and Joe had a match, 17 years since punk and Joe had a match. That's where all of this starts to take off.
Let's dive in a little bit more deeply to the match itself and then that closing angle because the match was good. You would expect Joe and Strong to put on a bit of a clinic here.
Samoah Joe and Roderick Strong have good wrestling match shock.
But I think like you said, they're both incredible performers. But it went the way you were expecting in that Joe was mostly dominant here. Roddy got some really good fire up spots, like hit some crazy elbows, running across the ring, just out cardioing Joe at certain points than hit him with a sit kick. But nothing would keep Joe down. It all ends as Roddy goes for an end of heartache that gets reversed into a suplex where Joe then drops him down into the Kikina clutch. What he doesn't tap, what he passes out in the hold. Showing guts, showing spirit. But I think the interesting thing here is they have pretty much a similar history to punk and Joe as well. It's been a long since they had singles match against each other. P unk is sat on commentary watching his.
Essentially. That is essentially what is the unspoken thing here is that punk is sitting there at the commentary desk watching somebody else who is his peer in ring of honour against his other ring of honour peer. And this peer is mauling.
This peer. And he's trying to banter it off on commentary and not really show his hand or anything like that. But you've got to think about it in those terms because, yeah, they've been kept apart through... He even said on commentary at one point, I was gone seven years. I didn't think I was coming back. So I couldn't have imagined at this stage of my career being given this opportunity again or facing either of these guys again. In that time, Jo's off with Impactt. When they're active, P unks with with Wwe. And then this is the first time that they're clashing.
And there's little moments where the veneer slips in the whole like, he's being very punk about the whole thing. He's being very casual on commentary, very relaxed and chatty. However, you get these little moments where he's like, Well, I've never beat Samojo. Oh, when they say... Nigel McGinnis asks him when Roddy is first put in the Kikina clutch, he's like, What are your tips to escape that? And he's like, Don't get it in the first place. There's all this little stuff of just like, This is how dangerous Samoah Joe is as a person. You can see, I think Joe did a really good job in this as well, of P unks being very dismissive of the overall stakes of this thing when he's watching this. Joe's intensity in the ring. He's staring at punk. There's a point point where Joe points at punk and hits Roddy with a big sent on and just been like, You're next.
Week, you. You can see the little story on their going through here is that punk's not taking a series seriously enough for Joe. Joe is obviously probably can hear him from the rings from the commentary desk. And he's getting more and more tweaked about the fact that punk really isn't taking this specific threat seriously enough. And that might be why it leads to that moment at the end where you have Joe go off on Roddy.
Somebody's just started doing some drilling in a room.
I was like, Where is that coming from? I had no idea what was going on.
My worry initially was that it was an electrical fault.
I know. I looked at it over here.
I was like, Is it going to die I.
Was like, Is this going to blow up in your face? I don't know if.
You can hear it. You might not be able to hear it. The mic is pretty good.
There's some drilling. That's why we both disappeared for a moment. Let's get back to where we were. Okay. Right. We're wrestling. Oh, and by the way, do get in your alter chats. We need to come up with a name for our own collision. We've got a name for everywhere else. But your alter chats, the Mods will be putting the link in the old chat for you, we'll read all of them out over the five US dollar amount because I feel like people are going to have a lot to say about this particular angle. But yeah, I think one of the things that's so great about wrestling is this, the length of it all. When we think about in, for instance, one of the joys of Forbidden Door is us getting to see these people from all over the place wrestle each other. So, for instance, as weird as it was like Jungle Boy challenging for the IWGB title. Well, the Champ has a similar story to Jungle Boy. So it's this weird Jungle Boy is looking into his potential future if he can just take the step he needs and has done that. That's part of the joy of wrestling is being able to look at Joe and punk and be like, if we think all the way back to this history, punk, this hyper confident, like we were saying guy has a chink in his armor.
But it was also taking it back to a younger man, a young man who was less confident, who hadn't done all the stuff in W W, he wasn't as popular as he is.
Right now. And seven years off. In that seven years, Joe has been more than people left, right and center.
So let's talk about the final. Let's talk about the closing act because I think for me, it didn't necessarily work in the way that they intended it to. The match finishes, Joe's hand is raised, Joe gets out of the ring and he picks up a chair and he goes to confront punk. And punk goes, Oh, well, I've got a chair too, buddy. And then he gets his chair up and then multiple security and referees all stop and they get in between them, basically stopping the braw before it can ever happen. Joe then walks off. Joe slides back in the ring, sliding a chair in. He picks up Roddy and he slams him into the chair before then walking out. This then leads Adam Cole to run out down the ramp past Sam Iver Joe without really referencing him, into the ring to check on Roddy. Punk gets into the ring as well. And then they stretch a job help, rather strong, out of the ring, out of the arena. The whole time this was happening, I was like, Great, what's next? Now, because I don't think the severity of what Joe did to Roddy didn't feel like it warranted the stretcher.
I felt like the stretcher was the smoke and mirrors for, Is punk going to clock Cole? Is something going to happen here? Is Joe going to come back through the crowd and attack punk? Is there going to be a moment there? It didn't necessarily feel like the button on the scene, if you know what I mean?
I 100 % do. And I think the reason it didn't feel like that is because it would destroy me. But Sumojo essentially did a side slam onto Rodry Strong onto a steel chair. Is that serious enough to warrant the level of stretch of job and the level of grave concern? Like, put the pumpkin and Cole with Cole's remitt of injuries running out and going to check. And I get that Strong has been MIA for a long time. So maybe there are previous injury issues that I'm not thinking about. I'll take that into consideration. But really, This week have seen Logan Paul go headfirst into a table and Kenny Omega and Will Osprey.
Some Primer Pies. He had a lot of Primer and it was fine. Little primes shower. Killed everything. Job done. Not sponsored.
$1 million that shower cost.
But also in this company, I've seen Osprey and Omega just tear chunks each other, drop each other on their heads, bleed left, right and centre. I've seen this level of intensity.
Justin Rose was bleeding at the end of a match on this. I'll get him up to Justin Rose. He's got thin skin. They bust.
Just for bleeding. Just for bleeding. Just for bleeding. Okay, I thought we were throwing some shade of the Rose family.
Have you got the memo? I never throw shade of the R.
Ood's family. You know how I feel about gold dust. But yeah, I've seen a lot of brutality of the anarchy in the arena match. What I saw, maybe that's a level of desensitisation, and I'll get on to dust and bleeding and why I think that was a slightly odd choice later on, but I've seen a lot worse, so I wasn't really feeling for him. So I was waiting for the next level. I was waiting for something else. I think if this had been, I'm going to lock that coat... Not the coat of clutch, the... The Kiki in the clutch. Thank you. The Kiki in the clutch in it again. Or I'm going to absolutely batter you with this chair and then do the... What's the... Oh, my God. Here's the big move. Musclebuster. The musclebuster on the chair or something. I don't know. Something more would have made it feel like, oh.
It's because the plan... I don't really know what the plan here was. It seemed like they were just gearing up to have a go at each other. Like I said, obviously, Joe was antagonising punk throughout the thing, but punk never really rose to it. Then Jo's doing this moment to antagonise punk into the braw. But then the belief that two or three security guys and a couple of referees could actually ever stop Samoah Joe from going and hitting CM punk with a chair if he wanted to. I don't don't buy that. So then Joe walks off and he hits Roddy instead for what reason?
I guess to show punk what's coming. But also then when we do have Adam Cole come out and Cole just doesn't even look at Joe, just runs straight. Again, it's the idea of this is so severe that I have one mind I'm focusing on my mate. If Cole comes out and confronts Joe, maybe that adds an extra little bit of spice to it. I think the whole point of it is, like you say, it's that idea of punk, you come back with all this moxie. Don't don't forget who I am. In the execution, it doesn't quite work.
No. I think if that is like we said, they've been building on this idea of this is punk seeing his future and Jo's doing this to Roddy to show punk that. I don't think punk really put the effort in to sell that as if that was the emotional struggle he was going through. He was just there being mildly concerned and got out the ring and it was still just like, I'm tough. He just stayed in the, This won't faze me. I'm a tough guy thing. And it's like, so unless that escalates in the next week until the next match, then fine if it does. But if it doesn't, then this just felt a little bit flat because I just wanted to see more of the veneer of punk slip throughout this commentary. I think he skirted the line. Well, he sowed some seeds, but towards the end of the match is like, if Joe never let go of the clutch after Roddy passed out and the match was already called and he's still choking him, and then you can just see that little moment in punk. Even simple things like rolling it over so that he's looking directly at punk, little back and forth camera stuff.
There's more you could do here to sell this vibe.
And that's what we got off the air with. When you finally does release it, punk is standing up and Joe is leaning over the ropes and we know that they're looking at each other. What's your final visual? I think what's your final tableau? And I think the last three minutes of the show being strong, being stretched out to.
End nothing, just fade to black. It felt like, like I said, I was just waiting for the bomb the whole time. What's that final moment? They're going to stretch him up and then Joe's going to come in and tip the stretcher or something like that. There should have been just one more thing to just really drive that home that these two are going to go to war next week and really build excitement for that match because I think one, it's a very exciting prospect. It feels like a lot of AW's booking actually is just like, Well, if you don't know your wrestling history, then I don't know what to tell you, man. How are you going to be excited about this? And it's like you could do more for a casual crowd who might have turned up on a Saturday night because you are just showing a show to different people as well. If you are suddenly at a different time slot on a different night. There will just be a Saturday crowd who find wrestling.
We've spoken about this before, wanting to bring people in. Because it's one thing to cater to that rabbit, passionate audience, which I think we were crying out for. You get your Wwe, which is your sports entertainment for your Hollywoodesque action. We were also crying out for some of that rabbit indie passionate, strong style, pure style, all of that to have backing, to be an actual competitor and provide that alternative. And that's what AWS does. But you also do want to bring on new eyes as well. So providing them with a little bit of extra spice is crucial.
It's funny. We'll talk for 15 minutes about this, but I imagine punk versus Joe is going to be.
It doesn't matter.
Are you not excited? I'm really excited for it. Are you not entertained? Because I am. All right.
Should we go into some of your alter chats, which I will attempt to find on here because I think I.
Just lost all of them. Right into it. We have Ben Vlerik who has provided us with a couple of other chats, but we'll go for the one with our topic at hand at the moment, which is punk and Joe. Anyway, AW is really stepping up with Collision, aren't they? Punks return, TNT title change, and AW World title match. And next week we get both Hobs versus Stark's two and punk versus Joe. Good God, how much longer before dynamite is the B show? Yeah, I mean, this is it. Ultimately, when you are booking a new show, stacking the card. And next week we got a tag title match. Oh, no. What a shame. There's going to be so many good matches on. I must find the time to watch. As you're building this new show, that's the energy you want.
Really, isn't it? Yeah. You want to go in and just completely make things feel as like this. It's like must watch television. I'm just waiting for them to find the angle outside of punk and FTR.
Their next few... They've laced it with cameos, it feels like from MGF and all these other people. But like, Let's hook into who these new big characters are. I think Andrade and the House of Black are also getting that treatment of they're starting to feel like a really big deal. But we just need to see who the other big players in Collision s world are that exist outside this, and what are they doing, and what is it for?
And on top of that...
Because at the moment, it's literally what's in punk's bag, the tag titles, and Andrade's mask. These are the most important things on C ollision.
Yeah. I mean, you've got your TNT title, which has got the network logo all over it. And we did have a hint of that this week. Really nail that and focusing in on those things and the TBS title as well. That's the other thing with the idea of it being a soft or a hard roster split, whichever one you want to do. If you even want to go down that road, you do have so many titles that you can get away with it. And if you create an exclus, if you make it feel like you basically want your show to feel like appointment television, right? And appointment television is hard to come by when you aren't live because it's already been done. You can go and read your rollers, you can just catch up. And especially on a show like this where the matches and the results are more important than any narrative.
Through line. And your hardest of hardcore fans are probably going to be wrestling out by the time your show even airs because Money in the Bank has already.
Been on. And that was a high adrenaline show. You might be a bit knackered. So you've got that element as well. You need to create that era of exclus and that's why you have this is the home of Miro, this is the home of Andrade. Maybe making it clear that titles exist that you won't see anywhere else.
It feels very much like beyond punk, it's start again territory at the moment, if you know what I mean? In a big way. We're still building Miro, which we'll cover in a second. We're still trying to make the TNT title feel important. We're trying to make the TBS title feel important. We're doing that in all the classic wrestling ways, which are squash matches. The next step will be exciting to see evolve, but it is almost like collisions dropped out of the air without really referencing the wider company necessarily. It's like trying to build its own world as if it exists without it. It's almost like Nxt, where Seth Rollins pops in for a bit like, MDF has popped in for a bit to waive the tile around and be like, look, it's important to type the champions here. But will he be there next week? Should we.
Get into that bit specifically then? Should we move straight into M JF?
Straight in. Because I feel like that's a really interesting thread to pull out because you do have the champ basically saying, the whole billing for M JF being here was M JF is forced to compete on a collision. Which is an interesting thing for your big top dog to do, right? To come out and say, I didn't want a wrestle on Forbidden Door. Forbidden Door is trash. I don't want to wrestle on Collision because I was supposed to have the day off. So you're telling us as the audience... I know he's a heel, but you're telling us as the audience member that this show that you're watching isn't important, right?
It's not the A show, certainly.
So how do you counter that? I think with a promo like Ethan pages.
Let's go into what went down.
Well, Ethan... So MJF came out and he had a match against Kip Mares, who was a local competitor. Mjf on Canada Day was wearing full fourth of July gear. He was basically dressed as a firework. He went off on one, like, jump the guy at the Bell, him a couple of moves and then heatseeker for the win. One, two, three, pretty quick. P ause out a microphone and does your classic MJF shtick of ragging on the town you're in and then beginning to build up this idea of like, I didn't have to be here. I don't want to be here. I can't believe you've made me do this.
What's brilliant about that as well is the whole heel being right thing. Like, elsewhere in the industry, there is a abundant precedent at this stage of the champs being allowed a much lighter schedule. So this resentment of him as the world... I won the world title, I should be allowed to fly first class and not come to every single day. And that's MJF's whole shtick. And it's like, you know what? You're right. I get it. But also as fans, we demand to see you. Thank you very much. You've got out of responsibility. It's the idea of do you, as the champion, view the world title belt as a get out of jail free card or as a sacred duty to.
Defend it every single time.
Exactly. And I like the playing with it.
He's getting to have his cake and eat it, really, here because he gets to do the whole I didn't want to come here. I've already beaten one guy. And then he over egos himself into basically says, I'm happy to take on literally any person from this town, Toronto, where it is in town. Hamilton. Hamilton. Anyone from here tonight. So then this guy starts walking down to the ring and M. J. F. Is like, Yeah, why not you? Make your.
Way, whatever. Little poutine joke in there from Magic McGinnis.
And then Ethan Page runs out and runs past this guy into the ring and then cuts what is a wonderful baby face promo.
Oh, my God. It was delicious.
So it seems like yeah, I don't know whether this is just a hometown crowd thing or whether this is just like, this will be Ethan Page's character going forward. But he basically says, like, you know, he...MGF was already ragging on Ethan Page for saying, like, you're not on my level. No one from this town is on my level and you especially are not on my level. And he says, No, of course I'm not. My father came over to this country from Macedonia, moved to Hamilton, made a life for himself, went on to work at all these businesses is working at these places down the road, name check, name drop, did all that stuff and said, I wasn't born to just be the ruling class, the elite, the people who expect this success. I'm going to be here and work every day. My wife is saying, I've had to ring my wife up and said, do you want to come and do the bit of the press tour for Canada? I said, yes, of course. She was asking, when are you ever going to pay you back for always bleeding AEW and always doing the work for them?
He says, in due time. So he's really going in hard on the fact that he's there for A UW when MJF.
While the champion cannot even be bothered.
His whole character is about playing A UW off. We're talking about he references nick Khan on TV, he's doing all of that. The idea as well, he uses the phrase, he says you're a bare minimum. I'm a bare minimum bitch. Like a little B level swear for you there. What a line that is. That made that pop me big time. I was a big fan of that. But his energy was so high. Now, there was some inconsistencies in the promo. I thought a little bit if I'm going to be nitpicky and I know we all hate nitpicking, but you start by saying, The people in the back don't respect me, but I'll do anything for them. It's like, Well, maybe that's why they don't respect you. And the idea that you bleed AW is like, Have some self worth, mate. But the fire with which he's talking puts all that to the side. And it's talking about that sacrifice. And it is that thing of like, there are people who would sacrifice anything to get the opportunity that you... What's the line in the... Okay, it's the devil wears Prata. I'm sorry to really play into my own stereotype here, but I'm going to reference the devil wears Prata here on the podcast.
And it's the line of, for this job that a million girls would dream to work, you only deign to work. That's the core of his promo. You deign to come here to Collision. This town means a lot to me. My opportunities mean a lot to me. And I'm going to slap you silly thing. It's exactly the fire up baby face promo that you want to see coming from Ethan Page of all people.
But this feels almost like what they did with Ricky Stark. At one point, they just went, Why don't you just take that and go? I feel like Ricky Stark's momentum changed the moment he was handed the microphone and allowed to just go and say stuff. Again, that was against MJF. It seems like this just being in the ring across from MJF, having to promo against him is actually the fire under people's asses that they need to really show what they can do on the mic because I would be terrified going up against MJF on the mic. He's legit, isn't he? He's going to eat you alive.
Yeah, he's one of the very best in the business. And also the character is so detestable. He's my favourite. I love M JF. If I were in that building, I would be booing the F out of him because he's doing such a good job of it. That's the thing. He's playing the character so well that it's almost like you bring your A game and I'm inviting you to bring yours as well. I as M JF, am on top of the world. Come and step on my level as a performer. That's what you dream of.
You dream of someone like that. If you can keep up, this will make you.
I think you did.
I'm sure that MJF isn't thinking about it like that either because I imagine he's probably not that actual relentless egotist. The rest of the time.
Just got to put my iPad on charge here.
Someone didn't charge the iPad.
Yeah, I know. Fuming. Olly and Luke. Olly and Luke.
Terrible. But yeah, I think it is an invitation to just be like, if you can just get a couple of good lines in, be fiery, say the right things against with MDF, people's perception does start to change. Yeah, big time. Then basically, Ethan takes up the challenge and the match endues. I don't necessarily think the match did as much for Ethan Page as the promo did. But MDF still had to work, I think, to get the victory, which I think is the important thing. I think it was very fun MGF basically cuts the legs out from under Ethan very early in the match, starts to work over his left leg, does a bunch of submissions, does a bunch of chop blocks to it, is kicking it out from under him multiple times throughout the match. This all leads to a spot much later where he will then hit a dragon screw leg whip and then hit the heat seeker for the victory. But it just means that Ethan Page is basically hobbled for most of the match and he's struggling to hit his move set and get things off. Everything is a little bit slower and this just keeps giving MJF the advantage.
Mjf is just not really been sneaky at any point here. He's just been smart and wily from the off, which I think this is a good way to book this match because it's like MJF doesn't lose anything. He's not had to really go into his full well of like, I'm truly detestable here and do all his actual cheating to win. He still looks like a really strong champion, but it gives Ethan Page an adversity to fight his way through. And every single moment that he gets off the back of having his legs literally taken out from underneath him at multiple points, he looks great in doing it because it really gets the crowd's hopes up of like, He can fight back. He can fight back. He can fight back. But he is always sold on this idea that he's going to go for the ego's edge and he just can't hit it. His legs give out from.
Underneath him. I love that bit of psychology anyway. As your basic wrestling psychology, work over one part of the body, especially the one that's going to hamper them from using their big moves. That stuff, I eat that up. I don't know. I think the other thing that's, I suppose, a benefit perhaps about Collision being a more casual show is the idea of allowing people who have perhaps been stuck. And I think Ethan Page's Harding storyline has been one that a lot of people are like, What's going on here? What's the driving force? And is there any internal logic to all of this? It gives them the opportunity to remind us, I'm damn good actually, on the mic between the bells. And that's a great shout. It's what you do with that opportunity where you then go, What happens next? But I think it was a really good showing for Ethan Page.
I just thought it was a lovely metaphor as well that Ethan Page can't win the match because he's had his legs cut out from underneath him. Hello. My MJF.
Nice. That's a very good shout. You've spot a lovely bit of I'd give you a tick in your media studies analysis.
Thank you. That'd be great. Let's move on. Next match was Justin Roads versus powerhouse Hobs in the O in Hart quarterfinal. This was a pretty good match, I thought. Pretty good match. Hobs comes out with QT Marshall and QT Marshall is the difference maker here, realistically. Justin puts up a pretty good fight, decides to bleed everywhere after being posted by QT Marshall on the outside. Leads to a bit of a back and forwards finish where Hobs takes the referee away, QT Marshall clocks him and he turns around and walks back into a spinebuster and that finishes things off. But in the midst of that, Plucky Justin kicks out of the spinebuster.
At one. At one. He really felt his oath there and just powered out. And that was a really like, Whoa, sit up and take notice moment thing. The internal story of this match, we were talking about there being a story for every match going. This one was, dustin is the only person who knew Owen Hart. In this entire tournament. He's someone who is a veteran, a multi year veteran of the industry. And the announcement we're putting it over as Justin's last ride thing. And I have a little thought on that in a second. But when you are that wily veteran who's on his last leg going out and you get an opportunity like this, it really means a lot to you. So to see him give it all and power out of that one thing and not just be there to be squashed, like he gave it, it does a good job of putting Hobbs over even if you've got that cutie.
Interference as well. The commentary did a really good job of saying, Hobbs doesn't need Cutie Marshall. They made the point. It was like, look at this guy. Look at the size of his face.
His literal name is powerhouse.
Look at the dude compared to dustin. He doesn't need this guy. And then the fact that he did need him to pick up the victory over someone who is at the twilight of his career, realistically, as commentary said, just proves how good dustin Roads is here and makes him look even bigger baby face. I thought there were some really cool spots in this as well. I thought it was a really good It was a great moment where Hobbs blocked the power slam at the end of Justin's signature sequence by literally just going, No.
Just saw his legs tensed and he just went, No. And then he lifted Justin up and that folded back into a crossroads. And then Justin picks him up and does this crazy pile driver that barely got him up for it.
And it just looked brutal. In the Owen Hart tour, I.
Remember the pile driver like that. I thought that was a lovely little spot. I thought that worked really, really well. And then it does lead eventually into a power slam later on and he gets to hit the move. But yeah, I thought they managed to make a match that I wasn't particularly fussed about going into it, something quite special by the end.
Of it. Yeah. I don't love the blood in the match for me. Blood is a thing that you should use and save for an episode. Again, I point to recently, Kenny and Will Osborne, that part of the reason that it really sold that story was just it made it feel like an absolute brutality thing. You bash into the post it. I don't think it was a hard way. I think it was a little day job. I was like, Does it really add to this story in this moment? I don't know. But then that's how I feel about Blood.
Everyone feels differently about their match when they're.
In it. Do you know it fully? They need to see this. They need to see it. I don't know. I don't know this for a fact, but I remember doing a little bit of... In fact, during the show, I was doing some contract research in general because I was interested in Miro's contract. Justin Rose's contract, as far as reports go, is up in July. Wow. As far as I know, Justin signed that contract at the beginning of AW. There were a lot of four year contracts talked about, well, we're in the fourth year now and it's coming up in July, according to what he said, I think, in December. I don't know if there's been an extension at any point. I don't know if there's been a conversation around that. If he is in the last ride of his career, I wouldn't be surprised if he wants to go and do a few dates elsewhere and maybe even finish his story alongside Cody, finishing his story. So somewhere else.
In W W Repra. Some trainer role with a bit of on screen.
Yeah. I mean, as a massive fan of Goldust, I can't say I hate the idea of Cody being some... Of Justin being some form of equaliser, being there for Cody in that moment where the family story is finished. If his contract is finishing in July and we have a few more weeks of him, I almost wish that he had won this and got into the next round because I think that story of this old grizzly old veteran in the Twilight, finding the second wind, I want to do it for Owen, who was my friend, I knew him, an extra layer and getting him into that semi final when we all start caring a little bit more about what's going to go down, building that story a little bit longer, perhaps would have been more interesting. That's a personal choice from me. I think ultimately it is more important as the veteran to have the young kid go over. So I'm not mad about that. It's just something I thought about along.
The way. I think the two stories that they do have in the semis are quite undeniable here, though, like Hobbs and Stark.
Have great history to draw in their match and punk and Joe do as well. And also they're almost parallels in that weird way. That's true. The powerhouse and the smaller guy, but at just different ends of the spectrum in their careers.
That's very tasty.
I think dustin's inclusion here is... Yeah, it was going to be more of a dustin focused story, then definitely take him forward. But it's weird to include him in the first place if you wanted it to be like part of his bigger thing, unless it's going to spin out into a bunch of losses to get one big final win, maybe.
But if he's on borrowed time, you've not got that long left to do that story.
And it's like they've not really ever really done very much with dust in the AW. He's just been a face around and knocking about the place. So he's deployed well when he's deployed. And this brings it like, if you deploy dust in roads correctly, you can get a really good match out of.
Pretty much anyone. Yeah, you got a L oopy can. That's very true.
We then got a Roddy versus Joe promo package for later in the show. Then when they saw Miro versus Anthony Henry from the Work Horseman attack team. And my first note just says Miro is going to.
Eat this man alive. Oh, my God. I miss Miro. I love Miro. I love a big battery man. That's why I like Joe so much. He's in unreal shape. Good luck to Mr. Henry. I'm sorry. There was no chance in hell he was going to get in anything.
I mean, he did get a little bit in.
I think this is the thing is I think Miro is a very giving monster in that sense of performing with Miro. He gave this guy enough to go, Here's your showcase moment. Hit some moves, but just know that this is going to piss me off. And then I'm going to go for the finish. And that's more than Goldberg ever did for anyone. Do you know what I mean? I think that's completely fair.
It didn't look bad on him either because it looked like it's one of those things when you do battle me, I'm going to get mad at you for it. You know what I mean? And then it fires him up.
Even more. I think the dynamic works really well here because this was a very athletic, MMA focused guy who did like, he did a quick combat flurry, then hopped up onto the top rope. Did you see the bit where Miro's running into the corner to hit clothes lines and he kicks him off once. And Miro then turns around and runs back in again immediately being like, That doesn't do anything. So he kicks him again. But during the kick, he flipped himself back up and back onto the top rope to then hit a diving double stomp onto the back of Miro. That was cool, man. Cool stuff. That was really great. I love that. And then that basically just was like that. Miro just like, Okay, well, I'm.
Annoyed now. There was one moment as well where he was like, Hold this, and went for a kick. And Miro was like, All right. And then he kicked him again. And then the way I was like, This is tasty. This is nice little off end.
You got there. So then he had a little flurry. Miro just cut him off when he went for the legs. At a slam, Miro then goes for the match kick.
Lays in the game over. Game over. And it's game over.
And it is game over indeed. I think it's like, again, with collision this rehabilitation thing, I hope that whatever issues Miro had have gone out of the way, this is the contract I was looking for. He's there for a while, I believe. He's signed an extension. So use him because damn. I was booking my way around things and thinking, what would I do here? Would I go, maybe he's the guy to take the international title of Orange Cassidy and really set him up to push him to another level. Because the idea of Orange Cassidy being so beat up, finally getting to face Miro and then all Miro needs to do is just, you know, just get him over and job done. And then Orange Cassidy can go off for a while, get his heat back, recover, say, Thanks very much for essentially carrying this on your back for such a long time. And then come back and maybe he's elevated even further. Meanwhile, you get to push Miro is this absolute monster.
This is... Miro is the... The issue with Miro is always this conundrum of like, What do you do with him if you don't want him to beat everyone? Because everyone expects him to beat everyone. I just want Miro to win every match he's in. I don't know. For the rest of time, I don't ever want to see him lose. I don't care. I'd rather he just had a title and vacated it than actually.
Because I think he's so good. But I think the benefit of doing this stuff with him where it's just like, Well, he's booked, he'll come out. He's happy to... He s happy to rip up anyone that you put in front of him and just do that. And then have different people who can do different little hopes spots against him. And then mirror, ultimately just as a exhibition or an attraction, just maul someone for a couple of minutes and that's perfectly fine. And that's a perfect way to rehabilitate Miro in the company as well. Just like, we just need to remind you of who he is for a little bit.
And again, this is about placing things. And then we will do something with him. It's about placing those things down and then doing something with him after a while.
I can't wait to see what they do with Miro because I bloody love him. I think he's great. We then got Tony Schivane, interviewing the bullet club G old, and their two new members, the Gunn Club. We got massive arsehole challenge for Jay White. But he said now that Bang Bang Gang is in full force with the Golden Guns and various other names. They were workshopping for them now. It was just your classic heel promo here. The Gunns got on the mic at one point and they said, You might hate us, but we've actually beaten all of your favourites. They run off the full list of all the guys that they've actually toppled in just 16 months since they actually started tag team wrestling.
That's not how recent they said.
That's what they said. They said 16 months ago they had their first tag team match in A W. And in that time, they've beaten the acclaimed, they've beaten FTR, they've beaten CM P unk most recently.
They're all so good at this. It's good heel work. And they were really good on the mic as well. All four of them, I think, were delivering this promo really well. I think there was a weird bit in the middle there where Tony is like, You're all banned from ringside. And J. O. White's like, What? That's rubbish. Anyway, punk, I'm going to talk to you now. And it was.
Like, No more talking for you, Tony.
You say bad.
Things, you don't get to talk.
That's what he said. He really did that, well, didn't he? But yeah, it's hard not to look at bullet club gold and think about NWO Wolf Pack, like a bit red, like the off shoot of the big thing. Is it like the Coke Zero, the bullet club? But it's still so early days. And I think that the guns, in particular, are so compelling. I like hearing them talk. I like the cadence. I'm so bad with names. Which is the one with the long hair?
Of the guns? I don't know. I have no idea.
He sounds like his dad, right? And I'm watching it. And I've always thought Billy Gunn was a.
Great promo. I can't tell the difference between.
The guns. But you've got short hair and long hair and long hair one sounds like his dad and looks like his dad. And it's really good at it. You know what? Road Dogg and Billy Gunn. Gunn would just stand there and then Road Dogg was running around. That's the vibe they're going with. He's standing there and he's just reeling these things off. I'm just so compelled by you. So it is early days for bullet club goals. I would like to see this unit carry on.
I wish that I'd managed to find this quicker in Jay White's in Jay White's, like, AEW story because they got him, they made a big fuss about getting him, and then they've done nothing with him. They're still a bit up in the air now. They've had their win, but they've also had their loss. Now, now juice has lost as well in his match, which we're going to talk about in a second with Ricky Stark. But that has now led to them having a title match. They have to have a title liminator match where they'll get a chance against them. There's a confusing series of things here where it's just going like, we're just going to do these guys and these guys for a while and you're just going to have to accept that they're all on the same level despite the fact that we're not telling you that through the media. Which can be a little bit disappointing, I think, in some degrees. But the idea of watching JY and JY and Jus go up against FTR is compelling to me. I like the idea of it.
With good matches. And I don't know there's only so... It's this weird thing of wanting to critique it and wanting to demand more and expecting the best out of this company that I think has some of the best talent going. And then also being like, Yeah, just give me a good match and I'm happy.
That's fair. That's wrestling, I think. I think there was some interesting little there was some interesting little nuggets in Jay's bit as well where he veered off from chastising Tony and he started talking about the goodies in the CM P unks bag and like...
The only one to reference.
It so far. The only one to reference it so far. Bullet Club Gold. Yeah, this is it. Mjf didn't even reference it. A thing that makes him f punk is saying that the World Heavyweight Championship, his version of the belt is in that bag, that illegitimizes MJF.
And punk's response even to J was to say, you can just go and get yourself a replica on a awb.
Just like MJF did. Exactly. So he's pivoting away from J into M JF. So his focus is that way. So that's where there's another bit of.
Dissidence there. Yeah. It would have been nice to hear M JF mention it or reference it or anything like that. Because that could have played into his annoyance of being there in the first place. It's like, I've come here and there's a guy literally claiming he's the world champion.
Same thing. I think J being interested in that thing and the whole idea, like the bullet club goals were interesting. Your goal, like their gold member.
We love gold. We love gold.
It was all of your gold. Like their dragons hoarding it. Yeah, I like it.
Smell. Yeah, it's great.
Smell. Then you just basically... I've also got a note here just saying what is in punk's bag? It better be a giant mechanical spider.
Could you imagine if it's anything else? It could be whatever, week to week.
We then got a kick back promo from backstage with Ricky Stark's warming up. Then punk and FTR basically did the heavy lifting and talking here. You got to let the man get his pump on. Punk then during FTR's bit of the promo was just showing Ricky what was in the bag, which I really liked.
He was like, Oh.
I think the bag thing's fun. It just has to be the title. If it's not the title, I think people are going to lose their minds.
Yeah, I mean, it can't be anything else. I like the game of what's in the bag. Mechanical Spider? I don't...
That was what Eric Rowen had in his cage for ages. When they kept doing what's in the cage, Eric Rowen had the Mechanical Spider.
Christ. Yeah, fine.
We then had the match between Juice Robertson and Ricky Stark's. This was another like, somebody gets pretty beat up leg cut out from under them, baby face fire back. Stark's eventually picks up the win. Most of my notes here are just about how mad Juice Robinson has become. He looks wild. They're calling him the wild man. He's acting crazy.
He's gone feral.
The stuff that he's saying during the match is so hilarious. There was a bit where the ref counts two and he's like, No, it was three. And the ref goes like, Two. And he's like, It.
Was close, though. All right, dad.
I thought some of the stuff that Deuce was saying was wonderful. Half the time as Ricky was running towards he was just shouting Ricky at him.
He was just going, Ricky. I made a joke about it. He was B.
From East Enders. I made the exact same joke this morning. Yeah, Ricky.
It was a really fun match. I think you've got to compare this to Ethan Page's very similar... The angle worked here was pretty much the same. But I think that maybe that's a conversation you should have backstage about how are we booking our matches. Maybe we shouldn't do two big leg injury spots in the.
Same run. This is something that I saw in... Actually, a lot of big shows this week as well. For Biddin Door, one of my ones was that every single match had a moment of, You punch me and I'll punch you and let's see. And then we'll go and every single one. And once you've seen it once, you've seen it times thing. And then in the Money in the Bank, there were two ladder bridge spots in the middle of the ring in both the men's and women's that were the same. And I was like, do we have a conversation at any point before the show about doing the same things?
If you've ever been backstage at a wrestling show, you know that it's very loose. The overall thing is pitched to everyone and people go off in silos and work on what they're actually doing. So I guess there needs to be a, maybe you guys could do this thing.
The producers chat to.
Each other. I guess unless it's outrageous, I'm sure there would have been a conversation in W W about like, Hey guys, nobody do anything with handcuffs yet.
Something like that.
So it was a bit weird here. And I don't think there were points where like, Stark did, he hit a move and then he kipped up onto the bad leg and then he dropped down and then he still did the pose. I was like, I don't think that works, man. To me, it's not for me. I'm going to purposefully jump on my bad leg.
Yeah, that's that bit sports entertaining. You want to push through it. It's such a simple thing. So the the reason his leg went bad in the first place and he careened into the ropes, that's the most basic spot in all of wrestling. And I mean, it's the International, as they call it. And literally your first day of wrestling training, they teach you the International because it's called the International because everyone can do it. When I was at smackdown, my friend who doesn't watch wrestling was like, Whoa, that was so cool. And I was like, I turned around and was like, You wait for the rest of the show. Right. If you're popping for that already. I actually loved, though, that it was the International that it worked. First time ever. It worked. And Kevin Kelly was like, That's why you do it. And again, it's something about giving us an example of this thing that we've all just accepted as just a sequence of jumping and hopping. But that's what it's supposed to do. It made me go, All right, I'm into that. And then the fact that it was, yeah, I take your point about Ricky stocks not fully selling it.
I actually quite like the nip of half working and posing anyway because that's my hulking up thing. It worked for me. And I like that it was an even match up because basically they were a set of escaping moves. At one point, Ricky went for something and just bailed. His head was between the. He just went, Nope, and went out of the ring. Ricky did the same to Just a few times. And then in the end, it was one with essentially just a pinning combination. There was no big move. It was just like, I've trapped you long enough to keep you down for three. And I thought it was a pretty decent showcase for them both. Neither of them looked bad in this, which is tournament.
What you want, really. The finish actually was a little bit of a The finish was that Stark's hit the spear.
Oh, did he?
Yeah, he hit the spear. Then Jus basically pops up and trips Stark and then goes for his own pin. Then Ricky rolls it back over and he keeps his leg over.
Jus' arm. Don't make notes while you're supposed to be watching the show guys. I just missed the finish.
Yeah, because J uice had his own spear on Ricky and then Ricky kicked out and then Ricky hits the spear, gets tripped up and then it's a pinning combination for the win. But that's probably why you missed it as well because it was like...
It came out of nowhere.
These matches have finished on that before and then it's like Jus' just countered it into another pin, essentially. And then the pin got reversed into the finish. So it was almost like a double force finish type vibe. I thought it was an interesting match. It was a lot of fun in it. J uice used Texas Loverleaf at one point. There was a reference of Tony Storm and all that stuff going on. But yeah, I think the big thing that stood out for me was just juice, beer.
Being absolutely insane. I really liked it. I like him screaming at people. Because I think one of my favourite, what always made the undisputed era for me in Nxt was the fact that they were all just gapping the whole time. I love Kevin Owens because he doesn't shut up. I just think any athlete who's able to put on a really great match and still just consistently the.
Element of it. Blab and put over their character and be who they're just really give you something extra into it. Roman Reigns, as soon as he started talking in the ring, changed everything about Roman Reigns.
You can go too far sometimes. I was saying this to all of them while we were watching the main event of Money in the Bank. I was like, I'm into this. But there is also a little part of me that's like, get on with it, start wrestling, stop talking, just come on, crack on. I think the difference here is that it is that enigmatic charisma magnet element to it where you're like, I like watching what you're doing. The wild man element makes it so fun for.
The character. You're funny. You're not trying to be anything too serious in a world of very serious people. Being something slightly outside of that, it feels like the most generic wrestling stuff is going, I'm going to beat you up because I'm tougher than you are. That's day one of wrestling school. Day two of wrestling school is, why do you make your hair really big.
Just shout Ricky? Find your character. Your character shouting Ricky, I like it. Good match. Stark's progresses obviously to the semifinal to face powerhouse Hobbs, which I think will be a very interesting match. And then also you've got Stark's, they can work this injury angle maybe into the rest of the tournament, which then probably gives, if we assume punk's going through to the final punk a leg up on Stark's or something to leverage.
Who did that? This is why they pay me the big bucks. It gives me something to leverage in that final match. Then the interesting thing now is obviously if we're thinking, my fantasy booking for it is Stark's and punk go all the way to the end because that seems like the most tangible story here. If punk has been stood by Ricky in this promo today and they've been in the ring together on the same side of things, like putting them across the ring from each other makes the most sense. Punk has always said that he came back to aw to put over the younger guys. Ricky Stark was among the names of people that he's back referenced before. Punk keeps teasing this heel turn. All of that hanging over this match makes it really exciting multi thing.
And that's where you get the stakes. That's why these first rounds of why I was saying earlier on these first rounds get them out of the way. But it was nice that they have built in certain elements of story like the CMFTR and the gold club, the bullet club gold.
The bullet club Gold. The bullet club Gold sounds like a credit card. It does. Doesn't it.
Sound like a credit card? Or it sounds like a greatest album. Yeah. Oh, yeah. Yeah. The bullet club Gold. But yeah, building in a little bit of.
Story here and there. Back to back number one. I'm five others songs.
But all the members have been replaced. And so now it's like none of them are a original members.
Or whatever. Or the Shippethisias or the sugar babe.
The sugar babe paradox. Anyway, point being, I like the fact that there's a bit of story in there as well. But now we have proper states. Now we have a repeat match, a first time in 17 Years match going forward. What does that look like? I think that's what you want from your tournament.
It's nice that the tournament... The O in Hart tournament seems to have retained the like, This is a serious tournament for serious wrestling. In the way that the original NFT UK tournament had that vibe about it, too. And then you insert characters who wrecked that. I think the reason Pete Dunn got so over in Nxt was because they were doing a very strait laced tournament of like, Here's all these indie guys who all get along and they all shake hands and it's all great and great. He was the only one who turned up as like, I thought this is a professional wrestling tournament. I'm going to cheat. Then that just put him over. It'd be interesting to see as the story evolves what other little wrinkles they'll add to this. I feel like punk is the one to leverage here. It feels like the crowd are beginning to turn on him. He's got a very split vibe with punk as we will talk about when we get to the main event. We'll talk about it coming out on commentary. But it really does feel like the tide is turning on punk and it will be like, how far do they want to get out ahead of that?
Just lean in. I think lean in.
It's so much fun. His match of a Bindor was made so much better by leaning in and playing with it. I think.
Go for it. I think he's in the luxury position at the moment where he is getting both reactions so he can do whatever he wants, basically. And you play to whatever the loudest section of the crowd is right now because all he has to do, and this is all he says in his promos is B me, all he has to do is go out there, be CM P unk, and people will react the way they want to react in that specific city. He can just carry on doing his shtick and be the heel or be the face and never really have to make the decision. But I would like to see them just make the decision and go full heel punk, especially when you've got the title in the bag and you're putting that on the mind. We then saw Christian Cage, who was holding the TNT title, fielding questions with Lutrosurus. Sean Spiers, another Canadian, walks in and Cage says that Spiers basically... Spiers is trying to talk to Lutrosurus about getting a TNT title shot. Kage steps in between them, essentially saying...
To the champ. Saying you're talking to the champ. I am the champ, technically. Then Kage says that Spiers doesn't take opportunities when he's presented them and he isn't dangerous, which makes Spiers say being dangerous depends on meeting the right person.
I have one note.
Which then made Lutrosaurs growl.
He did growl a lot, didn't he? Yeah. I do have one note for this, which is I love a man in a burgundy roll neck telling someone that they are dangerous. The moxie on you to be dressed like that to be like, you're not dangerous enough is quite entertaining. I love Christian Paige so much. I love him. He's brilliant. And I love this part of herring and I love that he's just got the belt and I love it. I love it. I'm in.
I'm in. Yeah, that's what I got. There's a really fun story line out of here. It's like, when will the dinosaur learn that he's being taken advantage of?
There is a.
Little part of it that's like, do not see it? When the little bird brain dinosaur man goes, Wait.
It's my belt.
I think there'll be some fun going on with this. I think this is a really fun idea. Christian cage is money. Christian cage is great. Sean Spiers versus Luchasouras. I'm up for seeing it.
All right, fine.
Please. It'd be nice to see Sean Spiers.
Do some stuff. Yes. I thought about that. He's been periphering.
For a while. But this is exactly what collision should be for as well. It's like giving people who've been around for ages time to be on national TV. Because there's.
Only so much hours. Two hours is a long time, but not that long.
No, exactly. But I think that's the thing is, A EW has had places for people to work, like dark and elevation. But that really does feel like a demotion, I guess.
Couldn't tell you when.
It's on. Yeah, it's just on YouTube. Just comparative to what people dream of, people's end game goal, really, when they were getting interested in before A EW existed would be like, Wwe. I want to be on TV in America in front of millions of people. That's the goal of people in wrestling. That's the top level that you can reach. Then to be like, I'm this close to being in front of millions of people, but I'm being on this very obvious B show. I guess the only thing below that in A EW terms is like, Well, you're prominent on their TikTok. Do you know what I mean?
You've been in an Instagram Reel. What do you want? So it's nice to see that people who have just been day one as for the A EW and have just been around there the whole time are going to get some time to shine on TV. That is exactly what collision should.
Be for. Yeah, I agree.
Agree completely. We then got Lady frost versus Chris Stattlander for the TBS Championship. Stattlander has been doing an open challenge streak at the moment.
I thought this was fun. I did too. I thought it was decent. I think the difficulty... What I've got about this, I have my gripes with the way she won the belt, which is that I felt like... J ade Cargill being so dominant and having this great match with Tyre, and then afterwards Chris Stattlander comes out and just gets it. And then it's like, I would rather have that been on collision. I would rather have had a huge match built time and then Statl and looks great. The problem with... That's one thing. Being the person that takes the belt off someone who's held it for that long and defeated that many people is another. It's like, it's what do you do next? How do you legitimise yourself a champ? And the answer is with good matches where she looked good and she looked strong. And I think there was that she went for this suplex on Lady frost where it's the whole them in the.
Air for a while. Vertical one. And a.
Conversation between their abdominal muscles didn't work out. And then it went down. But then she got her back up and she looked hench a f. I was like, yes, I'm in for you here. So yeah, this is how you do it.
I thought Lady frost got some good stuff in as well. I really like the cartwheel over the back into the drop tick in the back of the head. That stuff is really fun. Chris hit a fisherman's driver thing at one point that I thought looked awesome. I love a fisherman's suplex.
Is that your favourite?
I really love the.
Fisherman's suplex. We all have our faves.
We've all got our faves suplex. Do you.
Know what mine is?
I've recently started really popping for a head sister take down. When they run at you and then you just jump up and you hurricane rather than down, I'm all into it. I don't.
Know why. But just the hurricane runner or the prop of the full head scissors? Because you can do the...
I love the full head scissors. Just the feet clamped around the neck. But the snap of the hurricane runner where they just jump and then pull. And it's Santa Cisca bar doing her load. I really love it. I love an arm drag sequence.
The reason I was so into Dennis and Okada...
Especially when they do the big slap beforehand.
Yeah, come here.
Bam. It's that weird little clap noise they make before they do the.
Arm drag. Part of the reason I was so into Dennis and Okada was that it was so map based at the beginning. I was like, yeah, give me more of this.
This is great. Whenever someone's sliding on their bum towards you go, yeah, come on. That's when you get going. Next up, we saw Andrade El Idolo backstage saying the House of Black stole his mask. He starts going off the off the one about how he wants to get it back. Malakai then appears on the screen and says, you can have the mask back, but all in good time. So this is continuing. Obviously, the money here is Malakai Black versus Andrade. I'm excited for that to happen. I was excited to watch him go to have to go through the gauntlet of the rest of the house of black anyway. He toppled Matthews, lost to Brody King, or there was a DQ finish or something in that. I like that. I think this dynamic is really fun. I think Malakai and Andrade are going to have an incredible match when given the opportunity.
I completely agree with all of that. Love the goal and the element of it. Love all of it. Big fan, big fan, big fan. This is pretty much the last thing that we talk about because then we were on the Joe Strong match. So I do apologise for ending on a bit of a sour note. One of the Monday night roar was this. He's standing there backstage and then suddenly, oh, spooky. I'm interfering with the TV feed behind you. And then he's looking round of the telly in a weird angle. I'm like, this, you're better than this. That said, I suppose it is the house of the Blacks way. The House of Blacks way is to do video production.
Spooky nonsense. The AV club.
It's just putting Matthews back there with a skirt lead. I didn't like the presentation of it, but I will like the result of it.
Exactly. I think that's the thing. It was a low thought segment to build something quite good.
I think I wouldn't care about it in the context of a Wwe show because there's so much of that hyperreal nonsense that it is whatever. That's not what AW does for me. That's not what I watch AW for. So I found the presentation of it a bit weird.
Yeah. It seems to be the one thing sticking out like a saw thumb. Even the dinosaur is presented as a dinosaur. I didn't go with the dinosaur. When the dinosaur is presented as part of the format of like, well, he's just a dumb guy in a mask at the end of the day is like the way the character is presented. He just doesn't know the Christian is taking him for a ride. He doesn't appear out of an egg, or climb out of a volcano like the zords from Power Rangers. There's not a long sequence of him running across the plains.
And they spent so long building their show to be this real enough alternative. The wins and losses record. They presented it as a proper sporting contest. So the Spooky Bollocks does stick out.
Even in quite a limited capacity.
I guess. I think that's why. I think because it is so limited, I go, That was weird. I move on quickly? Yeah. So really, if you can look past it, great. I think I probably can.
I think it's interesting for Andrade as well because he's clearly having to like... He's in the same boat as Miro, right? He's come back from injury or contract SNFUs as well. And he's basically just having to start again. Andrade has come back and the story they're telling currently is that Andrade has got no mates in AEW. And Andrade is someone who previously had factions all over the place. He was paying people to do his dirty work for him, all of this stuff going on. And now it's like this complete refresh of his character to be like, I'm all alone. There's no one here beside me.
And he's not the best promo. No. Not even necessarily because of the language barrier, the English being a second language. More just like, I don't know, he said the word mask a lot. It was saying the same thing over and over again. I don't know if that was because they hadn't hit play on the spooky stuff yet.
Yeah, that time.
It's giving him the time to settle back. I mean, RingR us is not just working in the ring. It's all of it. And it doesn't matter how long you've been doing it. Slipping back into it is always going to take a minute. So yeah, I don't care about it too much because he's great and because that match with Buddy was so good.
I think he always does better with someone in his corner to talk for him. I think he would be someone who would benefit from finding a manager. Yes, I agree. Just just to help things along in the same way that Christian Cage is working with is like. That pairing works so well. And I think Andrade has an air of legitimacy. He's a great performer. Just needs that little bit ironed out. But I think this is where this is going. He's going to have to find people to help him beat the House of Black. So hopefully that reveals the next bit of Andrade's AW stuff.
I really do feel like it's as of this week, everything kicks off in earnest because we have got two months now. It's two months until all in and then you've got all out straight afterwards. So you've got two massive shows to build towards. Now is the time for all the stories to start really taking place, really start building all the characters to really start developing.
It's exciting. And then to round out the last thing before we went into Samoah Joe versus Roderick Strong, we got a Blackpool Combat Club versus Elite package, mostly setting up Kenny versus Wheeler Uta for Dynamite. That looks fun. It's going to be really good stuff. Then we went into the main event, basically. Punk came out on commentary. Got a very mixed reaction from the crowd, which seems to be the norm now. And like you said.
Go either way. Yeah. I mean, that Rapture, his whole point of his first promo, wasn't it? It was, you can call me Pets, if you all don't mind. You can call me the greatest of all time. I don't mind. And ultimately, the rest of you want the reaction, whatever the reaction is. Yeah, exactly. Yeah.
Wonderful. Yeah. So what do you think overall of the show, Dan?
I enjoyed it. I think it was at Tepid. Tepid only because I like there to be a driving force of reason to want to tune in. And beyond.
Wasn't really being given massive reasons.
I think basically if you're not into the tournament, then there's little to get your hooks into at the moment.
It's the first round. So being into the tournament is tricky. That said, I enjoyed it all. I didn't think there was a thing in the show, even the stuff where I was like, Well, I wouldn't quite there. Whether it was a wobble in the bullet club promo or wobble in the Andrade promo. Decent show.
I think Ben, from who I chatted earlier, said where this is all heading is really juicy. Hobson Stark's two.
Versus punk. Next week is going to be Staheck. So that is really, really exciting.
I think it's crucial that it has a different flavour to dynamite. I think it does. I think we just want reasons to tune in. And it's giving us that.
And it's trying in a different way it's a normal AW as well.
Tony hasn't done a big announcement yet.
No, there's not been one announcement.
I think so long as we don't just fall into those strokes again, we're just going to signpost all these big things happening.
We've had three weeks of just pretty good wrestling, and sometimes that's enough.
It is. It's not enough forever, but it has been to launch the show at this really weird time for the company where they're in the middle of a couple of things.
I think it's done the job. Saturday night's all right for fighting and the fighting is all right. Good. That's the slogan for the show. Let's go through the last couple of chats before we get out of here. So let's just do some general collision chats. Ben Vlerik donated again. Thank you, Ben. Saying, God, dusting Rose is incredible. Wasn't expecting too much from the match with Hobs, but it was awesome. Really hope when dusting does finally decide to hang up his boots that he gets a proper retirement match. The man is like a fine wine and a true icon.
Yeah, I agree. And I think as a fan, it's something where he's not necessarily been as... Dusty Roeder shoes were big to fill. Carving, making Golders as a character compelling in work when it's such a weird thing is a sign of just how good he is. He's had his own struggles with many, many different demons. And I think to be at this point of his career and to have been putting in the work that he's been putting in, getting the recognition he deserves, I do hope that if this is his last ride, he gets a real moment.
Do you think wants to do you think he'll want one final match with Cody before he goes? Do you think he has retirement match he'll want against Cody?
I think that match... I think that time has passed between the roads.
Yeah. Well, they had that match at the beginning of AW, didn't they? And it was incredible. And it was this...
Gut part. Oh, my God. And that moment where he's like, I need my brother to be my partner thing. And like, oh, that emotion. And that's what, again, going right back to what I was saying at the beginning, wrestling is one of the few things where you do get that emotion. I think they'll want to end it. I think Justin will want to end it together. I think they have such a specific bond. I think Cody, the way Cody looked up to Justin. And I think Justin making up a lot of time in many different aspects of his.
Not that Justin wants to spin the wheels on his retirement necessarily. No. But if he can hold on till Cody decides to finish the bloody story. I think if he can finish the story, Cody. If he could finish the story and be there as a champion. I think if you can be there for him. One of the first things he does is offer his brother a title shot as the close of his story.
Or even if not that, just being there together when they finish the story because it's Justin's dad as well. Something like that. We'll see, I guess.
Merrim Payneville, Dan says, Hello, Laurie and other Dan. Hope you are well. It feels crazy to see you two on a Monday. It feels weird to be here on a Monday. I had to chat in to mention the collision was great this week. It's a much better show than dynamite and rampage, I feel. Also, dustin Roeder is the greatest ever. I think your bias might be showing there, Dan. Dustin Roeder is on the show. We know what you mean. I think collision is, like we said, I think it's an interesting proposition. It feels different to dynamite and rampage. And that is a good thing because we didn't need more of the exact same formula.
Even now, Kevin Kelly being on the announced team. Kevin and Nigel are great together.
I love them. I think they're so good. Brilliant. One of my favourite announce teams going and wrestling at the moment. Jared, Hillswood says, I know Saturday isn't the best day for ratings, but I am wondering if Turner Tony knows something about their streaming numbers that we don't. What do you all think?
Ratings are on the way out. I think ratings have been too highly focused on, I think, by people recently. I think more interesting to focus on is things like ticket sales. And I hate to say it, social media engagement is far more because the way people watch TV has changed. We spoke about it right at the beginning. Linear TV is in a different place now. So I think don't read too much into the ratings, focus on the other metrics that you can measure because they're just not giving you those details anymore, really.
Yeah, they're on archaic bit of.
Television production. Netflix just don't release details. They just don't.
Well, this is it. I don't think anyone really understands Netflix. No. I don't think Netflix really understands Netflix. I don't think YouTube really understands YouTube, for instance. We definitely don't. And we do this.
For a living.
We're like, Oh, why didn't that video do well? I don't know.
I don't know. I don't know.
I suppose Adam probably wasn't in it. Ten Roozers. Old chat didn't say Yeah, straight up, I want this to be the collision geo. This is incredible. Great stuff, guys. You guys work so well together. Missed you, Laurie. Missed you too. I am pumped for collision to be given proper story lines. I do think they need to utilize dynamite more to hype it up. I think definitely in the early goings, AW would do well to not just be relying on the punk cashay to draw in just a hardcore wrestling crowd. They could be doing more to promote this show as a different beast to the rest of the things. But in the same way that they need to do with Nxt is giving it that little sprinkle of importance and magic, I think is really important and saying, You should tune into this episode of Collision because this thing is happening and we've set this up on dynamite. Just those like, they don't have to be really consequential moments, but they just need to be in front of the other eyes. You know what I mean? The way that sometimes stuff on Raw happens that says, oh, something will happen on next TV this week, so you should probably watch next TV.
And then suddenly everyone goes and watch the next TV and they're like, oh, yeah, we'll do more of that. So then it's like sets there now re is there. And then it's like, the next person, next person, next person.
Having things like having on.
This one. This is how you leverage a really deep roster of people and multiple TV shows throughout the week on television. General Russell Talk chat. Mr. Hicklesbee says, It's truth. The professor down and the draw, El Fakador Laurie Blake. Hope you are all doing well. My question for Dan is, does Marky Mark have thoughts on the Joe Henry stripper Kenny Pr omer from Impact in Fakador We Trust?
Yeah, Mark Marcusson isn't currently speaking to me because I went to smackdown and he thinks that that was anti wrestling. He says I hate wrestling and he doesn't want to speak to me anymore. So I don't know what his current thoughts are, but I'm sure he'll tell us soon enough.
Very cross. I heard it here first. Well, that's what we got time for. We can get out of here. We talked about collision.
Gone for a while, haven't we?
For quite a while. I didn't really think we'd get that much.
Out of it. But we did. We never get the chance to.
Sit here and do this. We should have just talked about our lives and stuff. Basically, yeah. We did have to tell each other multiple times before we were doing this. So et's stop talking about this show. Let's save it for the show. Let's save it for the show. Save the gold. Save the gold, guys, because that's all you're getting. Pure gold. Pure gold.
Bulletet Club Gold.
Yeah. Bullet Club... Oh, no. I put in my Bullet Club Gold card. Thank you so much for watching. We have more podcast stuff coming up this week, including Raw tomorrow with you.
And Lucas. Yes, we'll be there tomorrow. Then we have Dynamite on Wednesday. Actually, it's not Luke tomorrow. Luke's taking the day off to watch Indiana Jones. Oh, good. And make some Lego. So someone else? It'll be me and Oli, I believe it will be tomorrow on Raw. Oli watches Raw confirmed, the Forbidden Door. And then yeah, I think Luke and Olly on Dynamite on Wednesday. Then we have Saturday we have... Where's Tempest?
Tempest is away.
I don't know who's going to be on tomorrow.
Tune in to find out. We'll find out. We'll do better research next time. If I'm ever allowed back, I'll do better research. I just want to plug before we get out of here, go over to PFK, watch fight forever, Road to Elite Mode play through that we put out because I'm very proud of it. It's very funny. It's very silly. The game's a lot of fun in a very old school.
We did the stream of it the other week as well. And this is a very broken.
Wrestling way. But that's part of the fun. Anyway, let's get out of here. It's really warm in here. See you later, folks. Jam that Jam.
Jam the Jam. Get to.
The starting line.
Summer Sale is now.
Online at arnett. Ie and.
Throughout the store. You'll want to be first off the blocks.
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Summer Sale. It's on.