AEW’s answer to Clash of the Champions is here! On paper, while very fun matches, it seems tonight’s show is a LITTLE predictable, but nonetheless:
- ROH World Heavyweight Title: Claudio Castagnoli (c) vs. Konosuke Takeshita
- AEW Women’s World Title: Thunder Rosa (c) vs. Jamie Hayter
- AEW TNT Title Match: Wardlow (c) vs. Jay Lethal
Make sure to keep refreshing the page as the most recent results are below!
AEW Battle of the Belts 3
From the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Tony Schiavone, Excalibur, and Jim Ross are on the call! As expected, let’s get right to business!
Match #1. AEW TNT Title: Wardlow (c) vs. Jay Lethal w/ Satnam Singh and Sonjay Dutt
Wardlow gets the Goldberg entrance, and the crowd is pumped for it. Big back body drop by Wardlow to start and Lethal gets dumped over the top. Wardlow follows by Dutt and Singh grab Wardlow’s attention and Lethal takes advantage. Dropkick inside the ring by Lethal followed by an enziguiri. Lethal looking for the Lethal Injection early but Wardlow counters with a tiltawhirl slam. Lethal fires back with a pair of dropkicks and it looks like Lethal may have hurt himself on the — no! Quick cradle gets a two count. Lethal has learned a lot from Ric Flair. Lethal posts Wardlow and follows to the outside and with a suicide dive. Lethal wraps Wardlow’s knee around the post a few times and PSYCHOLOGY, BABY. JAY LETHAL IS SO GOOD. Okay I’m back. Elbow drops to the knee back inside the ring by Lethal. Lethal looks for the figure four but Wardlow pushes him off but Lethal rolls for a cover that gets two. Figure four attempt again but Wardlow reverses into a powerbomb but Lethal fights out. Lethal goes low and looks for the Lethal Injection but Wardlow grabs him looking for the powerbomb again, but Lethal escapes. Discus lariat attempt by Lethal but Wardlow responds with a massive headbutt. Lariat by Wardlow. Powerbomb! One, two, three!
Winner and STILL TNT Champion: Wardlow
Rating: **1/2. Not a lot of time allotted for this match here, but it was good while it lasted. Seems like the match was a vehicle to get to the post-match segment, which was very good. It’s not going to be easy to get sympathy on Wardlow, but using a monster like Singh and a three on one beatdown before getting put through a table is a darn good start.
Dutt jumps Wardlow immediately as the bell rings but here’s Satnam Singh to help. Singh cruses Wardlow and he’s just standing on his throat as Lethal looks the figure four in. Wardlow gets up and drops Dutt and Lethal, but Singh grabs a choke hold. Wardlow fights off and looks for the powerbomb on Singh! Lethal saves Singh and the beatdown continues. Dutt and Lethal grab a table and Singh puts Wardlow through the table with the choke slam!
Match #2. AEW Women’s Title: Thunder Rosa (c) w/ Toni Storm vs. Jamie Hayter w/ Britt Baker & Rebel
Hayter attacks from behind and delivers some ground and pound early. Snap suplex by Hayter as Baker and Rebel get involved early. Shoulder block by Hayter drops Rosa. Rosa fights back with a pair of dropkicks that send Hayter to the outside. Tope suicida attempted by Rosa but Hayer meets Rosa on the apron with a forearm. Hayter then throws Rosa into the guard rail. Hayter looks for a snap suplex on the outside, but Rosa drops her with a DDT on the floor! Rosa heads up top but Baker distracts her and Hayter tosses her off and to the outside. Uranage back breaker on the steps on the outside! Brutal landing! Two count on the inside. Hayter in control now with heavy chops in the corner. Northern Light’s suplex by Hayter and it’s chin lock city, baby as we head into a real commercial break. Both women are exchanging forearms in the center of the ring as we come back from break. Rosa with the upper hand and a Northern Light’s suplex of her own gets a two count. Hayter is laying prone on the bottom rope and Rosa delivers a vicious basement dropkick to the FACE. Hayter falls to the outside and Rosa continues the assault with a cannonball off the apron. Rosa rolls Hayter back in and goes up top and hits a diving cross body block that gets a two. Rosa charges in and Hayter hits a back breaker for a two count. SHEER DROP BRAIN BUSTER by Hayter! 2.99! Britt gets involved again but Storm has seen enough and comes off the apron with a tornado DDT. Rosa from behind rolls up Hayter and gets the three!
Winner and STILL AEW Women’s World Champion: Thunder Rosa
Rating: ***1/2. Call me crazy, but throughout Thunder Rosa’s title reign I felt like her matches just felt like… there was something missing. This match, however, was awesome. Rosa brought it and Hayter was the perfect dance partner. There’s nothing that Thunder Rosa does that looks “soft”, and the same can be said for Hayter, but that low dropkick looked painful. Seems like we’ll be continuing the ThunderStorm vs. DMD & Co. and I’m totally cool with that.
Match #3. ROH World Heavyweight Title: Claudio Castagnoli (c) vs. Konosuke Takeshita
Caprice Coleman and William Regal have joined commentary. Code of Honor is adhered to and Claudio misses a flying European out of the gate! Lock up to start as Claudio gets the top wrist lock and brings Takeshita down to the mat. Claudio looks for the pin with the knuckle lock but Takeshita bridges out and responds with a monkey flip. Claudio rolls through the monkey flip and hits one of his own and both men restart. Hip toss attempt by Takehsita but Claudio retains his balance and Takeshita reverses the reversal and finally gets it. Catch-as-catch-can wrestling here and it’s a lot of fun to watch, as both men are evenly going hold for hold. Shoulder block by Claudio and Takeshita ducks under but Claudio hits a mat return. Takeshita is up and delivers a leg lariat and Claudio resets on the outside. Takeshita follows with a dive over the top but Claudio evades and drives Takeshita’s back on the apron. Back in the ring, Claudio has isolated the lower back forearms followed by a a uranage back breaker. Tilt a whirl back breaker gets a two count. Big back suplex by Claudio gets another two. Arm bar by Claudio to slow down the pace as we head to PIP. Takeshita blocks a vertical suplex a bunch but as both men for over it for about thirty seconds with Takeshita finally getting the better of it and planting Claudio! Big boot by Claudio! Back breaker by Claudio but Takeshita fires back with some forearms. Headbutt to the small of the back by Claudio followed by a double chicken wing. Big boots in the corner by Claudio but Claudio runs into a high boot and delivers a diving hurricanrana from the middle rope! Big diving clothesline by Takeshita as Claudio retreats to the outside… top con hilo by Takeshita! Takeshita rolls Claudio backn in the ring and heads up to the top rope but Claudio catches him with an avalanche gutwrench suplex for a two count. Giant swing time! Claudio hooks it and delivers about six rotations. Running European uppercut in the corner by Claudio. Make that two. Takeshita reverses… Helluva Kick! Claudio charges and Takeshita catches him with a Blue Thunder Bomb! One, two, no! Anyone seen El Generico? Claudio rebounds off the ropes with a huge boot that sends Takeshita to the apron. Both men on the top rope and Takeshita grabs a front head lock and turns it into a turnbuckle DDT! Frog splash off the top by Takeshita gets a long two! Claudio blocks the huge knee strike and catches a flying Takeshita with the European uppercut. 2.999999! Sharpshooter by Claudio into a cross face but Takeshita rolls through for a two count. Claudio challenges Takeshita in the center of the ring and Takeshita responds with a German suplex. Claudio rolls through the German and hits a big lariat! Two count! Pop up uppercut by Claudio blocked! Big knee strike! Brainbuster! ONE, TWO, NO!! Rolling elbow by Takeshita! Takeshita looking for the Cinnabun (?) but Claudio counters in a Ricola Bomb, which is countered into a hurricanrana! ANOTHER LONGGGGGG TWO COUNT! Diving knee by Takeshita but Claudio catches him in mid-air in a fireman’s carry into a Death Valley Driver! Both men are down! Elbows throwing back and forth as Claudio hits the ropes with a springboard European uppercut. Hammer and anvil elbows by Claudio! Ricola Bomb! THAT’S IT!
Winner and STILL ROH World Heavyweight Champion:
Rating: ****1/2. WHAT A MATCH. You look at this match on paper and it’s exciting, and then to overdeliver the way they did really says something. There’s no better world champion for Ring of Honor than Claudio, and, much like Moxley, they both have an amazing ability to bring these other performers up to their level and leave them better than they were before the match, even in a loss. The match was Claudio taking advantage of the young wrestler’s mistake and making him pay for it, and eventually using it to get the win. The match was great, the psychology was there, and both men left the ring as winners tonight.
Final Thoughts: I say it all the time but it AEW could just make Rampage a three-match show, it would give these matches and angles a chance to breathe, and I think tonight was the perfect example. Everything on this show, albeit somewhat predictable, delivered. Not only did it deliver, but it advanced the storylines and makes you want to see what’s going to happen next. Fasted sixty minutes of TV I can remember. 9/10.