Battle of the Belts III: Three Talking Points

Claudio Castagnoli and Konosuke Takeshita Deliver a Classic in the Main Event

AEW held their third Battle of the Belts event, and the action was solid all night long. Three championship bouts were held in the hour-long special, and if you missed it here are three key talking points to get you caught up!

A New Giant Invades Wardlow’s World

BOTB III opened with a short and solid contest between TNT Champion Wardlow and Jay Lethal. Fresh off a win over Orange Cassidy and loss to Ric Flair, Lethal looked to use his veteran experience against the powerful Wardlow. Jay played a classic cat and mouse game with the champ, sticking and moving as much as possible while avoiding the dreaded powerbomb. Wardlow was able to toss the former ROH champion around the ring with ease, and his massive headbutt/lariat combo late in the match was pretty sweet. No symphony in this match, as one powerbomb was enough to pick up the victory and title retention. 

Following the match, Lethal’s associate Sonjay Dutt attacked Wardlow immediately. The 7’4 Satnam Singh joined the beat down, but Wardlow fought back. Wardlow was able to put Singh in the powerbomb position, which got the crowd pumped. This would turn out to be just a tease, as Lethal would take out Wardlow’s knees and lead to the TNT champ getting choke slammed through a table by the Indian giant. Singh and Wardlow stared one another down several times during the contest, and it seems like a match is in the works. Seeing Wardlow powerbomb Singh will certainly be a sight if he can actually do it. My gut says he can. 

Jamie Hayter Injured During Contest With Thunder Rosa 

The worst news to come out of Battle of the Belts was Jamie Hayter suffering a broken nose injury during her match against AEW Champion Thunder Rosa. It is unknown as to the severity of the injury, as well as the timetable for her return.

Besides the unfortunate injury, the match between Rosa and Hayter was excellent. The two competitors showed impressive aggressiveness throughout the match, and Hayter proved to be a believable foil for the champ, using multiple backbreakers to punish Rosa. 

Former women’s champion Dr. Britt Baker DMD backed Hayter during this bout, while Toni Storm was in Rosa’s corner. The four-way feud between the aforementioned women has been the focus of the division lately, and this match was a highlight of the program. Storm and Baker brawled late in the match after Britt’s continued interference. Thunder took most of the damage during the match until a late flurry propelled her to a win. Rosa utilized an impressive leverage pin to retain, and there is certainly meat left on the bone for this feud to continue once Hayter returns. 

Konosuke Takeshita and Claudio Castagnoli Deliver The Best Match In Battle of the Belts History

Despite coming somewhat late to the party, Konosuke Takeshita and Claudio Castagnoli are wrestler of the year contenders, and this ROH Championship match was proof. Both men went all out in this 20-minute war, and the crowd ate it up. The action started out hot and heavy, and never really let up. Even though both men are capable of big, exciting moves, the technical technique of both competitors was on full display throughout. 

As the main event progressed, the action swelled with momentum, even crescendoing to a point of leaving William Regal at a loss for words. There were thrills aplenty for both athletes, including a beautiful dive over the top rope by Takeshita. 

The champ Castagnoli played his hits to an adoring crowd, including the giant swing and plenty of uppercuts. There were moments when it looked like Takeshita would capture gold, but Claudio’s fighting spirit would not be denied this night. After a heart-racing back and forth in the final minutes, Claudio delivered a resounding ricola bomb to deliver a win in his first world championship defence.

Takeshita and Castagnoli have been featured players in AEW recently, and good on Tony Khan for signing and pushing them. Konosuke has had huge matches in AEW against Adam Page, Jon Moxley, Jay Lethal, and Eddie Kingston. Granted, he has lost all of those matches, and this one, but he is an undeniable talent and rising star. Hopefully, Takeshita will pick up a big win on the big stage of All Out. If you haven’t watched this match, seek it out immediately.

Written by Joel Kananen

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