AEW returns for its second edition of Battle of the Belts Saturday, a taped show that will be headlined by an AEW Women's title bout.
Reigning champion Thunder Rosa will put her title on the line for the first time when she defends against former champion Nyla Rose.
This feud began when Rose interrupted Rosa's first promo as champion on Dynamite and continued through this past Wednesday when the two battled with a cake involved.
For the first time on AEW TV, the Ring of Honor World title will be contested as current champion Jonathan Gresham defends against former champion Dalton Castle. It will be the AEW debut for both men.
In a rematch for the TNT title, current titleholder Scorpio Sky will defend against former champion Sammy Guevara. Sky is looking for the second defense of the gold while Guevara is aiming for his third reign as TNT Champion.
We are back in Garland, Texas for the conclusion of Championship Week with “Saturday Fight Night,” Battle of the Belts 2.
Excalibur, Taz and Tony Schiavone were on commentary.
Sammy Guevara (w/ Tay Conti) defeated Scorpio Sky (w/Ethan Page & Dan Lambert) to regain the TNT Championship (12:44)
Guevara rushed Scorpio in the corner with elbows and was booed by the crowd. Uh-oh. Scorpio recovered quickly and mounted Guevara in the corner for punches. Guevara came out of the corner with a chop and mounted Scorpio and drove in some elbows. Guevara hit a back suplex and mounted Scorpio for more strikes. They were dueling “Let’s Go Sammy/Sammy Sucks!” chants while Guevara attempted a suplex. Guevara tried a leap frog but got caught in a TKO attempt, which he quickly escaped. Both guys exchanged chops, Guevara hit a dropkick and Guevara soaked in boos from the crowd.
The fight went to the floor and Guevara threw Sky into the ring barricade. Sky got the advantage dropping Guevara on the ring barricade and slamming him on the floor. Sky tried to whip Guevara into the stairs, but Guevara countered with a moonsault off the stairs. After the moonsault Sammy was getting some cheers that weren’t mixed with boos. Sky hit a TKO on the ring apron that sent both competitors to the floor and the show went to a split-screen break.
Sky worked over Guevara with punches and the crowd chanted for Scorpio. Sky hit a pair of devastating side backbreakers. The crowd chanted “One More TIme!” and Scorpio delivered a third backbreaker, and Sky bent Guevara over his knee to try and get a submission. Guevara escaped a fourth attempt at a backbreaker and hit an enziguri, and the crowd booed. Guevara made his comeback to more boos, although they popped for a Spanish Fly that got Guevara a near fall. Guevara caught Sky with a spring kick. Guevara set up the 450, but Ethan Page pulled Scoripo out of the ring. Conti got in an argument with Page, and this distraction allowed Guevara to hit the Men of the Year with a shooting star press to the floor.
Back in the ring, Sky got a quick nearfall with a small package. Guevara escaped a TKO attempt and hit the double jump cutter (slipping a bit) for a near fall. Lambert distracted the ref while Guevara went for an O’Connor Roll. Sky grabbed the ropes and Conti slapped Sky's hands off the ropes so Guevara could get the roll up. This brought out Paige VanZant, and VanZant and Conti brawled on the floor. While all this was going on, Guevara hit a low blow on Sky and then nailed the GTH for the pin. New champion!
Conti and Guevara made out with the belt after the match. I think between that and the low blow, Conti and Guevara are turning heel.
Pretaped Dalton Castle and Johnathan Grisham promos aired to introduce new fans to. The Dalton Castle promo should make him an immediate star.
Johnathan Gresham defeated Dalton Castle (w/ The Boys) to retain the ROH World Championship (9:34 aired)
It seemed like there were slightly different graphics for the ROH competitors compared to the AEW ones. Gresham is representing “The Foundation."
Lots of mat work early on. Castle gutrenched Gresham in several directions before tossing him to the mat with a suplex. This got the crowd behind Castle. Castle hit a back elbow and a clothesline. Castle hit a high boot, but Gresham came back with a hurricanrana off the ropes. Gresham hit a dropkcik before the show took another split-screen break.
Back from break, both guys ducked each others strikes in the corner for a full minute. Castle hit a pair of suplex on Gresham, then got a near fall after an overhead throw. Castle worked over Gresham with elbows. Castle tried for his finisher, the Bangarang, but Greesham got the ropes. Gresham dove off the middle ropes and into a Bangarang attempt, but Gresham countered with a cradle, which Castle reversed, and then they both exchanged cradle attempts. Gresham caught Castle with the Octopus hold and dropped to the mat, and Castle had to tap out.
There was lots of very good mat wrestling here and overall the match felt distinctly different than most other AEW matches.
After the match, Jay Lethal, Satham Singh and Sanjay Dutt came out. Singh chokeslammed two of the boys on the floor. Singh took out Castle as well. Singh challenged Gresham, but that was a ruse for Lethal to hit Gresham with the Lethal Injection. Lee Moriarty and Matt Sydal (still on crutches) tried to run off Dutt’s group, but they were beaten down as well. Finally, new ROH Television champion Samoa Joe was able to chase off the heels with a lead pipe. Joe and Gresham held up their belts to pop the crowd. Joe's ROH TV title looks much better than Gresham's ROH World title (which is the older style belt with the "ROH" in red block letters).
Thunder Rosa defeated Nyla Rose to retain the AEW Women’s World Championship (14:04)
This is Rosa’s first title defense.
The fight went to the floor early. Rosa took Nyla down with a springboard bulldog on the floor (springing off the ringpost in an innovative spot). Rosa took the fight in the ring and hit a shotgun dropkick off the top for a near fall. Nyla Rose came back with a headbutt and choked Thunder Rosa in the corner. Rosa low-bridged Nyla to send her to the floor. Rosa came off the ropes with a hurricanrana attempt, but Rose caught her and powerbombed her on the apron.
The fight continued on the floor through the split-screen break. Rose suplexed Thunder Rosa on the floor and whipped her into the steel steps. Nyla Rose continued to dominate through the break.
Rosa and Nyla exchanged forearms, and Rosa got the advantage with a dropkick and a stunner. Rosa hit a shotgun dropkick in the corner, and another dropkick sent Rose to the floor. Rosa hit a diving dropkick through the ropes to take Nyla down, then followed up with a torino off the top.
Rosa threw Nyla back into the ring, and came in with a top rope crossbody. But Nyla caught her. Nyla suplexed Rosa into the ropes, hanging her prone on the top rope. Rose went for the guillotine knee drop, but Thunder Rosa avoided it. Thunder Rosa hit a monster code red for a near fall. Nyla hit a pair of clotheslines for a near fall. Nyla chokeslammed Rosa, then went for a splash off the middle rope. Rosa tried to countered with a boot, but Nyla caught Rosa’s foot. Nyla hit a lariat for a near fall. Nyla hit an inverted jackhammer for another near fall. Rosa avoided a senton attempt and got a cradle for a near fall. Both women exchanged near falls, and it feels like the match missed its peak. Rosa finally got the win with a hurricanrana into a cradle. Rosa went out into the crowd to celebrate with the fans to end the show.
Title change aside, these shows don't feel that important. Which is fine. It's the fourth hour of AEW programming this week. It seems like they're leaning into Conti and Guevara as heels, but Conti still has the feud with VanZant too. Dalton Castle put in a good performance tonight; I hope we get to see more of him either in AEW or the new ROH.