HomeTelevisionAEW Collision 7/22 Review: Punk Polarizes NJ, Billy Gunn Retires (?), Ricky...

AEW Collision 7/22 Review: Punk Polarizes NJ, Billy Gunn Retires (?), Ricky Starks is Absolutely a Star

Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling

“The Elite Don’t Work Saturdays.” “Cry More Punk.”  These were just a few of the signs that graced the sea of nearly 7,000 fans (@WrestleTix) at AEW Collision 7/22 at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. CM Punk, currently being arguably one of the most polarizing figures in professional wrestling today, took much delight in towing that line between  face and heel, as he would start the night making an entrance to a mixed reaction of cheers and boos. A reaction that would become more so cheers by the end of the night.  

Collision started out with Tony Schiavone in the ring awaiting the winner of this year’s Owen Hart Foundation Tournament, Ricky Starks. Starks, who cheated to win, was met with a huge ovation from the Tri-State area crowd, before explaining himself. (He also arrived to quite possibly the longest fireworks entrance display I have ever seen) Ricky had a bag in his hands, but explained he just wanted to show off the new Louis Vouitton he just got. (Big pop from the crowd on that one) Ricky explained he did what he needed to to get the W, but was interrupted by CM Punk shortly thereafter. 

Punk took some subtle shots at New Jersey, the Devils (after the show as well) and the like, but told Ricky he wasn’t mad about what Ricky did. As Punk continued to explain where he was coming from, the duo was interrupted by The TNT Champion, Luchasaurus and Christian Cage. I have to admit, Cage holding the championship at all times is literally perfection. Christian took a shot at them by saying what kind of man hold’s another man’s championship referring to Punk’s claim to being the real AEW World Champion. The four competitors were interrupted by Darby Allin, much to the delight of the Newark crowd, who proposed a matchup of himself and Punk taking on Ricky and either Christian or Luchasaurus. Schiavone indicated through an earpiece that the match had been approved and would be our main event for the evening. 

Solid segment all around by everyone involved, but the earpiece thing came off a little indie and beneath them, but at the same time kept things moving quickly. Schiavone worked his magic and made everything move along smoothly. I was a bit confused by the teaming as Punk has been towing the line as more of a heel as of late, whereas Ricky (who did indeed cheat) was met with a ton of cheers. I could have just as easily seen Darby and Ricky take on the team of Punk and Christian, but I obviously understand why they wouldn’t go that direction just yet. Don’t forget, at the end of the day, the fans decide who is heel and who is face. Every time. 

Backstage we see a segment where Andrade is surrounded by security and escorted out of the building. My first thought was former ROH TV Champion Rhett Titus (who was in action later that night for ROH tapings) is above being a security guard, but that’s just me. 

Pre-show: A Dark Match between Powerhouse Hobbes and Fallah Bahh took place. Fallah hit a few signature moves and poses (“BAHH!” “NO NO NO”) before ultimately being taken out with an impressive spinebuster from the former TNT Champion. 

The first official match of the night was Action Andretti and Darius Martin taking on Bullet Club Gold with The Ass Boys in their corner. I don’t see the need for The Ass Boys in this particular scenario (regardless of storyline) as Jay and Juice got the win seemingly clean over the high flying duo. Darius and Andretti had AMAZING chemistry and really shined with their high flying tandem moves. Andretti is a bump machine and a half. Solid match to start the night. 

Miro crushed Nick Comoroto of all people in a very impressive showing. Big pop from the crowd and big things ahead for the former TNT Champion. Be sure to check out our interview with Miro (fka Rusev) in the archives. 

Next up The AEW Trios Championships as House of Black made their way to the ring first. Let me tell you, their entrance on television does not do it justice. Very impressive presentation all around. As The Acclaimed made their much anticipated entrance to the ring, (Scissors Everywhere) Caster’s signature rap was interrupted as the team were jumped early by The House of Black. This was a solid match but I was surprised at how handily and quickly The Acclaimed were defeated, as Platinum Max Caster took the brunt of the beating.

Post match Billy Gunn (aka Daddy Ass) began to take off his boots in an emotional segment. The Newark crowd was all over it chanting, “NO” and, “You’ve still got it.” Regardless, Gunn did indeed leave his boots in the ring leaving Bowens and Caster shocked. This could make for some good storytelling here, and I am intrigued.

FTR was interviewed in the ring later in the night and the fans made it known they were upset about the lack of MJF and Adam Cole this week, as the Tag Title Match is NEXT week in Connecticut I believe. I felt as though Dax and Cash may have been setting the table for a possible impromptu appearance from the ever popular strange bedfellow number one contenders as MJF is local, but the interview was just that. The team did a great job hyping the match and overcoming the crowd’s disappointment by saying they weren’t about the comedy spots and just wanted to wrestle. Fun fact, The Pop Break’s Mike Mueller pointed out that Jay Briscoe’s name is still on Dax’s Tag Title nameplate. 

The rise of Skye Blue continued as she took on the ever accomplished Taya Valkyrie with the crowd fully behind her. Unfortunately for Blue, Valkyrie was able to overpower her and make former work of the up and comer. Valkyrie went on to cut a promo about how Britt went from being a champion to beating “An EXTRA” (Kayla Sparks) on AEW Dynamite on Wednesday. Valkyrie said she wanted a matchup against the D.M.D. herself, and I for one am here for it. 

In the words of Busted Open’s Mark Henry it was finally indeed “TIME FOR THE MAIN EVENT” as the team of Punk and Allin took on Starks and Christian w/ Luchasaurus. Solid matchup all around and I absolutely popped for Christian who looks fantastic, found a way to still wrestle in a turtleneck. Darby’s suicide dives are as always the fastest I have ever scene, and I popped big for the spot where he just ricocheted off of Luchasaurus. Punk worked the crowd (who at times hijacked the match) whole Scorpio Sky was seen watching from a sky box. #ScorpioSkyBox

The red hot Absolute Ricky Starks would pick up a big win here ultimately, as he was able to capitalize on interference from Luchasaurus and once again get the pin (on Darby) by holding the bottom rope. Yes, he is a full blown heel. 

Off-air Punk toyed with the NJ crowd (especially about the NHL) and was met with mostly cheers as he made his way around to greet fans to end the night. Great show all around but all eyes should be on next week’s show with a Ladder Match between Buddy Murphy and Andrade, and the AEW Tag Team Championship Match between FTR and MJF and Adam Cole. (BAY BAY).

AEW Collision 7/22 is now streaming on the TNT app and is now on-demand via your local cable operator.

Rob Crowther IV
Rob Crowther IVhttp://bobculture.podbean.com
Rob "Bobman" Crowther IV is host of The Bob Culture Podcast and drummer for local Jersey rockers, Vextion. This drummer with a mic can often be found on the site reviewing wrestling, superhero shows, and movies. Rob loves to put the spotlight on up and coming local bands and indy wrestling talents. @bobculturepod


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