By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Battle of the Belts 2
Taped April 15, 2022 in Garland, Texas at Curtis Culwell Center
Aired April 16, 2022 on TNT
A Battle of the Belts opening video aired… Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, and Taz were on commentary. Ring announcer Justin Roberts introduced the opening match participants…
1. Scorpio Sky (w/Ethan Page, Dan Lambert) vs. Sammy Guevara (w/Tay Conti) for the TNT Championship. Sky performed an early ground and pound. Sky backed Guevara into a corner and then stood on the middle rope and bit his forehead. Guevara returned the favor.
Sky caught Guevara going for a move and set up for a TKO, but Guevara slipped out of it. Guevara dropkicked Sky and then kipped up to his feet and received a mixed reaction. Both men ended up at ringside where Guevara ran Sky into the barricade. Sky fought back and picked up Guevara and dropped him on the barricade.
Sky continued to work over Guevara and a mixed chant broke out of “Let’s Go Sammy” and “Sammy Sucks.” Sky tried to whip Guevara into the ring steps, but he stopped and hit him with an elbow, then performed a moonsault from the steps. Both wrestlers ended up on the apron where Sammy set up for a move, only to have Sky perform a TKO on the apron heading into a picture-in-picture break. [C]
Sky was on the offensive coming out of the break and performed three backbreakers. Sky set up for a fourth, but Guevara flipped onto his feet and performed an enzuigiri. Fans booed. Guevara performed a standing Spanish Fly for a near fall. Guevara followed up by putting Sky down with a mule kick.
Guevara went to the ropes, but Page pulled Sky to the floor. Conti got in Page’s face. Guevara executed a shooting star press onto Sky and Page, which drew a mixed reaction. Back in the ring, Sky caught Guevara in an inside cradle for a two count. Guevara fought out of a TKO attempt and ended up hitting a clunky double jump cutter for a near fall.
Lambert climbed onto the apron and bickered with the referee while Sky and Guevara jockeyed for position. Guevara tried to roll up Sky, who held the ropes until Conti hit his arms, which led to Guevara getting a near fall. Lambert and Page motioned to the back.
Paige VanZant ran out and fought with Conti at ringside. In the ring, Guevara low-blowed Sky while the referee was distracted by the catfight style brawl on the floor. Guevara followed up with a GTH and scored the pin.
Sammy Guevara defeated Scorpio Sky in 12:45 to win the TNT Championship.
After the match, Guevara and Conti celebrated Guevara’s win. Page was bloody from a cut near his eye. Excalibur called the low blow a classless move. Guevara and Conti made out. Taz said they should get a room. “Please stop,” Schiavone said… [C]
Powell’s POV: So Sammy and Tay are officially the new Cody and Brandi Rhodes, only perhaps we’re seeing what would have happened had Cody agreed to a heel turn. Guevara using the low blow along with the broadcast team all having negative things to say about Guevara and Conti afterward all seem to suggest that AEW is now leaning into the boos rather than fighting them. After all, this is a taped show and they could have tinkered with the audio to replace the boos, just as they did for Guevara’s segment on last week’s Rampage.
A brief video package aired with Jonathan Gresham and Dalton Castle setting up their ROH Title match… Dalton Castle made his entrance with a group of Boys. Two of The Boys (the Tate Twins!) accompanied him to ringside. Gresham made his entrance with his octopus mask covering his face. Bobby Cruise was the ring announcer for the ROH match. The broadcast team recapped the end of the ROH Supercard of Honor pay-per-view and the debut of Satnam Singh on Dynamite…
2. Jonathan Gresham vs. Dalton Castle (w/The Boys) for the ROH Championship. The wrestlers adhered to the Code of Honor. Castle performed an early suplex and Gresham appeared to partially land on his head. Referee Paul Turner checked on Gresham, who was able to continue. Gresham battled back and was in offensive control when they went to a PIP break a few minutes into the match. [C]
Both men were at ringside coming out of the break. Castle reached up from the floor and spun himself around while performing a nice huracanrana on the floor. Back in the ring, Castle performed a couple of suplexes and covered Gresham for a two count. Excalibur said Castle beat Gresham in the only other singles match they had against one another.
Gresham caught a charging Castle with a boot to the head. Gresham went to the middle rope and dove at Castle, who caught him and went for his Bangarang finisher, but Gresham countered into a pin. They took turns reversing pins with both getting several two counts.
Castle caught Gresham with a clothesline. Gresham came right back with the Octopus hold. Gresham maintained the hold while going to his back and then Castle submitted. Gresham and Castle shook hands afterward.
Jonathan Gresham defeated Dalton Castle in 10:35 to retain the ROH Championship.
Jay Lethal’s entrance theme played and he walked onto the stage with Satnam Singh and Sonjay Dutt. Singh walked to ringside and chokeslammed both of The Boys simultaneously. Castle dove at Singh, who caught him and tossed him into the ring steps.
Singh entered the ring and Gresham struck a fighter’s pose. Lethal entered the ring behind Gresham and hit him with a Lethal Injection. Singh grabbed Gresham by the throat and picked him up and slammed him into the mat several times.
Lee Moriarty ran out and went after Singh, who tossed him in the air and let him crash onto the mat. Singh played to the booing crowd. Matt Sydal showed up and hit Singh with his crutch. Singh no-sold it and broke the crutch. Lethal and Dutt put the boots to Moriarty, then shoved him toward Singh.
ROH TV Champion Samoa Joe made his entrance with his title belt in one hand and a pipe in the other. Joe entered the ring with the pipe. The heels fled, but Joe hit Dutt over the back with the pipe as he was fleeing the ring…
Powell’s POV: A good match with the expected finish. It was fun to see the Tate Twins back as The Boys again. Call me crazy, but I didn’t enjoy the Castle act nearly as much after they departed. This was a much better outing for Singh than his awful debut on Wednesday. And as much as think AEW has too many title belts (watch Tony Khan’s announcement turn out to be AEW Trios Titles), it was fun to see the ROH Title defended on TNT.
Excalibur ran through the lineup for Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite and Friday’s AEW Rampage, and then hyped the AEW Women’s Championship match as coming up next… [C] A brief video package set up the main event, and then entrances took place…
3. Thunder Rosa vs. Nyla Rose for the AEW Women’s Championship. Schiavone pointed out that Vickie Guerrero wasn’t in Rose’s corner. He said she was laid out during a backstage segment that aired on Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite. Rose took the fight to ringside to start and ran Rosa into the barricade.
Rosa battled back and returned the favor by sending Rose into the barricade before rolling her back inside the ring. Rosa went up top and hit Rose with a missile dropkick that only led to a one count. A loud “Thunder Rosa” chant broke out.
Rose battled back before Rosa dumped her to the floor. Rosa went to the apron and dove at Rosa for a huracanrana, but Rose caught her and powerbombed her on the apron heading into another PIP break. [C]
Rosa took offensive control and sent Rose to the floor and hit her with an odd corkscrew dive from the top rope. Rosa sent Rose back in the ring and then performed a crossbody block from the top rope, but Rose rolled through. Rosa slipped away, but Rose caught her with a shot and then placed her on the ropes. Rose went for a move from the ropes that Rosa avoided.
Rose went for the Beast Bomb, but Rosa countered into the Code Red for a good near fall. Rosa showed frustration over not getting the pin. Rose chokeslammed Rosa. A short time later, Rose dropped Rosa with a clotheslined and covered her for a two count. Rose followed up with a Jackhammer for a near fall.
Rosa crawled under the ropes. Rose went to the apron and then climbed onto the middle rope and went for senton or a leg drop that Rosa avoided. Rosa rolled Rose into a pin for a two count. Rosa ran the ropes and dove at Rose, who powerslammed her for a two count. Rosa hooked Rose into a pin for a two count. Rosa executed a huracanrana and hooked Rose’s legs for the three count.
Thunder Rosa defeated Nyla Rose in 14:10 to retain the AEW Women’s Championship.
After the match, Excalibur went into auctioneer mode while hyping a bunch of matches so fast that no one will remember them. Meanwhile, Rosa entered the crowd with her title belt in hand and celebrated amongst the fans…
Powell’s POV: An entertaining main event, though the Code Red spot would have made for a stronger finish. There were some clunky moments, but there was more good than bad and this was the best moment that Rosa has had since she captured the title. Overall, a good hour of television. It felt like AEW held back a bit by not having an AEW World Championship or AEW Tag Title match on this show. I will return shortly with my same night audio review of AEW Battle of the Belts 2 for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons). Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below. Have a great holiday weekend.