By Colin McGuire, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@McGMondays)
AEW Battle of the Belts IV
Washington, D.C. at Entertainment & Sports Arena
Aired live October 7, 2022 on TNT
The show came right over from the Rampage feed and there was hardly a break for Pac.
1. Pac vs. Trent Beretta for the AEW All-Atlantic Title. Trent dominated a lot of the opening moments, including a knee to the back of the head that led to a two-count. The two wound up on the outside for the second time, and Pac took control before setting up a table. Even so, Trent fought back and sent Pac on the table. Trent ran at the table, but Pac moved. That didn’t matter because Trent came right back with a kick and rolled Pac into the ring. Trent went to the top, but Pac caught him with an avalanche brain-buster. We got our first PIP of this program [c].
When we returned, Pac had control, but Trent took it back with a double-stomp. Trent hit a high German Suplex. Trent followed that up with a half-and-half. Trent landed a tornado DDT for a good near-fall. Pac tried to roll outside, but Trent stopped him and kept him in the ring. Trent landed a clothesline that turned Pac inside out. Trent hit a very nifty piledriver for another good near-fall. A “This is awesome,” chant broke out.
Pac rolled to the short ramp and that resulted in Pac landing a brain-buster on Trent through the table that was set up on the outside. Pac came up from the whole thing bleeding from his back. Pac rolled Trent into the ring. Pac went for the Black Arrow, but Trent got his knees up and went for a spear, but Pac countered with a knee. Trent tried to roll Pac up, but Pac kicked out. Pac went to the top, but Trent cut him off and landed a half-and-half from the top for a two-count.
Trent lifted Pac, but Pac came back with the Brutalizer. Trent made it to the ropes for a break. Pac went to the outside to grab the hammer he used on Rampage. Trent lifted Pac and Pac hit Trent with the hammer between the eyes. Because of that, Pac pinned Trent and got the win.
Pac defeated Trent Beretta via pinfall in 14:25 via pinfall.
After the match, Orange Cassidy came out to attack Pac. We went straight backstage for an interview with Jericho, Daddy Magic and Angelo Parker. Jericho said he’s like Daniel Garcia’s older brother and he taught him a lesson. Jericho said he’s teaching Garcia how to become a world champion. Jericho said the return of Lionheart will happen in Toronto at Dynamite.
McGuire’s Musings: Was this whole thing designed to demonstrate that Pac could wrestle at a high level for 40 minutes? I don’t really get it. You have one show that seamlessly goes into the other and you have the guy who holds two belts wrestle in both, but the disadvantage of having to wrestle in both matches back to back – as a heel, mind you – doesn’t really matter because you have a hammer? I know AEW and TK have been taking a beating lately for the booking decisions here, and I don’t mean to pile on, but I just wasn’t a fan of this. If the point is to ultimately make Orange Cassidy a more serious character, I’m all for it, but at this point, it kind of feels tangential. Either way, those guys here worked hard and Trent took a hell of a bump through that table while Pac looked like he earned a serious cut as a result of that table spot. Good wrestlers. Questionable stories.
Back from break, we got a promo from Claudio, who says he finally wants his rematch for the ROH title. So, we’ll see how that goes. Willow’s music hit and we went to the ring. Ricky Starks sat in on commentary here.
2. Jade Cargill vs. Willow Nightingale for the TBS Title. The women locked up and the crowd as pretty hot with dueling chants. Willow landed a snap-duplex for a two=count. Willow pushed Jade to the outside and the Baddies took care of her until Willow hit a tope suicida through the ropes, taking everyone out. Willow ran at Jade, but Jade caught her and slammed her onto the ring steps. We then got our next break [c].
When we got back from break, Cargill was doing pushups. Willow fired up and took Cargill down. Willow landed a chop and then a cannonball before going to the middle rope for a dropkick and a two-count. Cargill went for a pump kick, but Willow moved and then Jade lifted and slammed Willow. Cargill landed Jaded and that was the end.
Jade Cargill defeated Willow Nightingale via pinfall in 7:30.
After the match, Vickie Guerrero yelled into a microphone and meanwhile, Nyla Rose stole the TBS title. From there, Matt Hardy spoke backstage, asking why Ethan Page and Stokely Hathaway are in his business. Everyone shouted about contract tampering. Hardy said if Page keeps sticking his nose in his business, Hardy will delete them.
McGuire’s Musings: This was a much better outing for Willow compared to the first time these two did this. I love Willow. I don’t know why she’s not All Elite. But there was no way she was winning this tonight. Speaking of tonight, this amounts to two AEW shows in three days on Nyla Rose’s home turf and the most the crowd gets is a quick run-in at the end of a match? Not even a Dark or Elevation appearance? My guess is this gets us to Nyla Rose vs. Jade Cargill, but I just hope the result for that won’t be as predictable as the other Cargill matches we’ve seen through the months. Also a fun tidbit going into the main event: We’ve never seen a title change on a Battle Of The Belts program. Does that change next?
Coming back from break, Hook was being interviewed about his envelope from the Trustbusters. Hook tore the envelope up. Excalibur announced Pac vs. Orange Cassidy for the All-Atlantic title on Dynamite. We got a promo from Toni Storm and Shida. Bobby Cruise made the introductions for the main event.
3. FTR vs. Gates of Agony for the ROH Tag Team Titles. Dax and Kaun began the match and locked up with authority. Kaun hit a short-arm clothesline and pounded Dax. Cash tagged in and Dax dropped Cash onto Kaun. FTR held control (as the Gunn Club mocked them in the crowd) until Kaun landed a clothesline. Toa tagged in and pummeled Cash before working Cash’s neck. Cash went for a sunset flip, but To a sat on him and tagged in Kaun.
Kaun covered Cash after Toa hit a belly-to-belly, but it amounted to a two-count. The action spilled outside and Toa ran at Cash, but Cash moved and Toa went head-first into the guardrail. From there, we went to our final break of the night (presumably) [c].
Corrections: I mentioned Nyla Rose didn’t have get any other matches in DC, but fellow Dot Net-er Rich Bailin messaged to correct that she did appear on an Elevation taping. It was also brought to my attention that there was one title change in the history of this program, and that came when Sammy Guevara defeated Scorpio Sky for the TNT title. My apologies.
Back from break, Kaun and Cash were going at it in the ring. Toa tagged in, but Cash threw Toa onto the top turnbuckle. Cash got the hot tag to Dax, but Toa cut all that off quickly with a Samoan Drop and a two-count. Toa placed Dax on the top rope and caught Dax when Dax tried to hit a cross-body, but Toa caught him. Cash landed a dropkick to finish the job. FTR hit a dual DDT on Toa and Kaun tagged in. Kaun and Cash were the legal men, but Dax tagged in and FTR landed the spike pile-driver for a two-count.
Toa ran in and FTR tried to lift him but couldn’t do it. Ultimately, they hit the Big Rig on them, but Kaun came in to break things up. The Prince interfered a bit when FTR went for pin attempts. As a result, Dax back-slid Kaun into a pin.
FTR defeated Gates of Agony via pinfall in 13:26.
After the match, everyone attacked FTR. That included Brian Cage, who ran out, but wouldn’t you know it, Wardlow came to the ring to help out. Samoa Joe’s music hit and Joe ran to the ring to clean house. The show ended with Jim Ross saying, “See you in Toronto, beat Texas.”
McGuire’s Musings: To quote somebody, somewhere … this ain’t it. The extra hour of TV was a glamorized extra hour of Rampage and even when I say “glamorized,” that’s too kind. The title matches had little-to-no drama and I defy AEW to hold a cable television program with the words “battle” and “belts” in it, and then actually have a title change more than once. And no, I’m not taking Andrade’s outburst this week as an excuse to mess up the entire night. This is a roster filled with talent – so much so that there are people who delight in calling into question how Tony Khan could possibly use all of that great talent in the best way – and we get these knock-off Clash of Champion hours of television, why? Honestly. I want an honest answer to that honest question. Why? Is this just a self-serving way to pay homage to a WCW gimmick that mattered 30 years ago? Or are these programs supposed to further stories, make us care and actually supply the viewership with anything other than meaninglessly predictable matchups that do nothing for anybody? The Battle of the Belts series hasn’t been good anyway. Tonight was a new low. I’ll have an inordinate amount of things to say in my audio review.
>I know AEW and TK have been taking a beating lately for the booking decisions here, and I don’t mean to pile on,..<<
LMAO. Dude, you do nothing BUT give a negative vibe to AEW when you review whatever show you're reviewing. Without fail, each and every time. It's either "That was bad" or "That was ok, BUT" after every match, and I"m FAR from the only person that notices it. Sadly, you're still here, so congrats on being allowed to do so, I guess…