AEW Collision Match Finish Changed On The Fly After Apparent Injury To Ricky Starks

On Saturday night's episode of "AEW Collision," Top Flight defeated Ricky Starks and Big Bill to advance in the AEW World Tag Team Tournament. But if you thought there was something off about the finish of the match, you're right.

Late in the contest, Starks was rolled into a pinfall that he was clearly supposed to kick out of, but didn't; rather than count Starks' shoulders down for three, the referee stopped counting, causing the London, Ontario crowd to erupt in boos. Starks then stood up, took a DDT, and was abruptly pinned by Darius Martin. Fightful Select is reporting that not only was that not the original finish, but Starks and Bill were supposed to win the match and advance in the tournament, meaning an audible was called mid-match. Fightful pointed out that trainers checked on Starks after the bell, and that Martin was visibly speaking to the referee during the pin. While Fightful did not confirm that Starks had been injured, the outlet did "wish him a speedy recovery," which suggests the widespread post-match speculation about a Starks injury is likely correct.

If Starks is hurt to any significant degree, it couldn't have come at a worse time for he and Bill. Prior to Saturday's tournament match, the team hadn't been seen on AEW programming since they lost the AEW tag team titles to Darby Allin and Sting on the February 7 edition of "AEW Dynamite," almost two months ago. It was Sting's retirement following AEW Revolution on March 3 that caused the titles to be vacated, necessitating the tournament.