It’s Saturday, you know what that means! That doesn’t quite sound right but if I’m here on a Saturday that can only mean it’s time for another episode of Battle of the Belts. For the third time out of four this year, AEW has 3 title matches for us on TNT and they should be entertaining! We’ll see matches for the ROH World Championship, the AEW Women’s World Championship and the TNT Championship so strap yourselves in for a fun hour of wrestling for your weekend. With Excalibur, Taz & Tony Schiavone on commentary, let’s get straight to the wrestling!
We’re starting off with the TNT title and Lethal emerges first with his gang of bastards, Satnam Singh & Sonjay Dutt and they all head to the ring before they’re followed by Wardlow making his grand entrance. The crowd gives Wardlow the ovation he deserves and Lethal is apprehensive despite wanting this match. He rolls out of the ring as soon as the bell rings and Wardlow needs to be distracted by Sonjay for Lethal to engage but the champ no sells a Suplex and takes over immediately, taking Lethal off his feet before taking him to the outside where he has to square up with Satnam Singh. This allows Lethal to get back on the attack and he hits chops to Wardlow in the corner before catching him with an Enzuigiri but Wardlow hits a Tilt-a-Whirl Slam to come back and earns a two count. Lethal hits two dropkicks and Wardlow stays up then Lethal pretends to hurt his knee and then uses the distraction to roll Wardlow up for two. Lethal sends Wardlow to the outside before taking him off his feet with a Tope Suicida. He begins to attack the leg of Wardlow with the ring post to send us to break. Lethal maintains his focus on the left leg throughout the break.
When we return, Lethal is looking to put on a Figure Four but Wardlow fights him off only for Lethal to comeback with a Jack-knife Cover twice before the champ seems to have Lethal ready for the Powerbomb Symphony. Lethal fights out with punches but still ends up in position for the Powerbomb but he escapes repeatedly so Wardlow responds with a huge headbutt and an even bigger Wind-up Lariat. Wardlow goes for the Powerbomb again but this time there’s no escape and one is all it takes for Wardlow to retain the title.
Sonjay jumps Wardlow after the match and Satnam Singh joins in too. Satnam pins Wardlow with his foot and Lethal locks in the Figure Four. Wardlow fights back afterwards and has Singh ready for the Powerbomb but Lethal saves him. Sonjay gets a table in the middle of the ring and Singh puts him through it with a chokeslam to end the segment.
Next up is our first World Championship match and Jamie heads out with Britt and Rebel but Thunder Rosa heads out with Toni Storm in her corner too. Jamie attacks Thunder Rosa on her entrance and immediately takes over with strikes and then distracts the referee to let Britt get a cheap shot in. Jamie brings Rosa out of the corner with a Snap Suplex before laying in hard palm strikes to the champion’s sternum before dropping her with a huge shoulder tackle. Rosa finally shows signs of life with two big dropkicks and Jamie rolls out to escape. Rosa goes for a Tope Suicida and Jamie sees it coming so cuts her off with an elbow. Jamie tosses the champion into the barricades and Rosa begins to fight back after and drops Hayter with a DDT on the floor. They head back into the ring and Hayter kicks out of the pin attempt quickly. Rosa heads up top but Britt distracts her and Jamie takes her off the turnbuckle then hits a Backbreaker onto the ring steps to send us to break. Back in the ring, Hayter just stays in control with strikes and chokes to keep Rosa down throughout the break, staying on top of the champion. Battle of the Belts then gets the same blackout we usually get on Rampage meaning take the match time with a pinch of salt as there may well be editing involved.
When we do return to the match, Rosa is on her feet and lands a huge elbow strike but Jamie lays in her own and we get a strike exchange which Rosa ends with a Northern Lights Suplex with a Bridge for two. Rosa hits a brutal low Dropkick to take Jamie to the outside before hitting a Senton Atomico from the Apron onto Hayter. Jamie rolls groggily back into the ring but Rosa follows her with a Diving Crossbody from the top rope for two. Jamie powers Rosa up and after a back and forth pulls out a Backbreaker for two and then lands a Sheer Drop Brainbuster for an even closer two count. Jamie pulls Rosa up and then lays in strikes in the corner and Britt chokes Rosa only for Toni to stop her but Britt drops Toni with a Superkick and Toni comes back with a DDT. In the distraction Rosa gets a two count with a roll up and then again but the third attempt keeps Hayter down for three. Thunder Rosa retains! This was one hell of a match. Rosa’s best title defence to date.
Bobby Cruise is here for the entrances and Caprice Coleman is on commentary as this is a ROH match. Takeshita enters first and heads to the ring and he’s followed by the new ROH World Champion, Claudio Castagnoli. Claudio comes out with Wheeler Yuta and William Regal. Regal heads to commentary and Yuta heads to the back leaving this a one-on-one battle. We get a handshake before both men throw and miss huge shots and we get a nice back and forth resulting in a stalemate. The two men lock up and Claudio drops Konosuke to the mat but Takeshita fights to his feet only for Claudio to wrestle him back down to the mat. Takeshita bridges to his feet again but Claudio shows his strength once again and then we get Monkey Flips with Claudio coming out on top as the crowd show their appreciation. We get another lock up before returning to the mat and going back and forth once again. Claudio stops a Hip Toss but Takeshita perseveres and gets it the second time. Claudio counters with a Side Headlock Takeover and Takeshita gets to his feet again but Claudio takes him down with a Shoulder Tackle. Takeshita returns fire with a great sequence ending in a leg lariat before both men head to the outside where both men lay in shot before heading back in the ring. Claudio begins to target the spine of Takeshita with Backbreakers and sends us to break with a two count. Claudio begins to take over throughout the break, keeping Takeshita on the mat mostly and working on the lower back for the Ricola Bomb. Takeshita shows great heart as he fights through the pain and manages to land a great Brainbuster to get some space but Castagnoli comes back with a High Boot before focussing on the back with a Backbreaker once again.
We return as Takeshita shows heart to fight back again but Claudio shuts him down with strikes. Takeshita pulls out a Hurricanrana and then manages to land the Takeshita Line to take the champion down again. Takeshita manages to send Claudio outside and then follows with the Tope Con Hilo and then he heads up to the top rope but Castagnoli cuts him off and brings him down with an Avalanche Gutwrench Suplex for two. Claudio calls for the Swing and hits it and Takeshita kicks out at two once more. Claudio hits Uppercuts in the corners but Konosuke replies with a kick and a Blue Thunder Bomb for two. Takeshita and Castagnoli fight on the top rope and it’s Takeshita who comes out on top with a Turnbuckle DDT and a Frogsplash for two. Takeshita goes for the knee but Claudio cuts it off then takes aim with an Uppercut when Takeshita goes for a Takeshita line. Claudio tries a Scorpion Death Lock but Konosuke escapes it. We get huge strike exchange and then they involve German Suplexes and Lariats with Konosuke hitting the Jumbo Lariat for two. Claudio tries a Pop-Up Uppercut but Takeshita counters with a backslide and then he hits his Knee Strike and even follows up with a Brainbuster but still Claudio kicks out at two! Takeshita tries a Cinna-bomb but can’t get Claudio up so Castagnoli goes for a Back Body Drop but Takeshita transitions to a roll up for two. Claudio hits a Diving Uppercut and Double Foot Stomps and goes straight for the Ricola Bomb only for Takeshita to get a Hurricanrana and hold on for another two count! Claudio catches a Knee Strike and turns it into a Death Valley Driver and then we get one last strike exchange before Claudio hits the Uppercut, the Lariat and then Hammer & Anvil Elbows before the Ricola Bomb finally puts an end to the match. Wow. That’s the best match we’ve seen on Battle of the Belts across all three shows we’ve seen thus far. An instant classic. Must see wrestling.
And that is that for another week of wrestling. That may well be AEW’s best Battle of the Belts so far on match quality alone. 9.25/10 for me. But what did you think? Let us know in the comments, let me know on Twitter @Knapphausen and have a great rest of your weekend. Adios.
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