AEW Battle of the Belts X results (4/13): Powell’s review of Athena vs. Red Velvet for the ROH Women’s Title, Hook vs. Shane Taylor for the FTW Championship, Roderick Strong vs. Rocky Romero in an eliminator match


By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

AEW Battle of the Belts X
Highland Heights, Kentucky at Truist Arena
Aired live April 13, 2024 on TNT

The show picked up where Collision left off with Claudio Castagnoli checking on Bryan Danielson, who was hit with a brainbuster on the ramp by Konosuke Takeshita… Tony Schiavone and Matt Menard were on commentary and ran through the lineup…

Hook and Katsuyori Shibata were interviewed on the backstage set by Lexi Nair. Shibata used his phone to tell Hook that he would have his back. Hook said he appreciated it, but he had to stand on his own… Ring announcer Bobby Cruise conducted the introductions for the opening match…

1. Hook vs. Shane Taylor for the FTW Championship. Hook pulled down the top rope, causing Taylor to tumble to ringside. Hook followed and slammed Taylor’s head on the ring steps while Schiavone said the match was being fought under FTW Rules.

Taylor caught Hook with body slows when they returned to the ring. Referee Paul Turner checked on Hook, who took another body blow from Taylor. Schiavone said a liver punch will shut a person’s entire body down. Taylor talked smack and continued to get the better of Hook. Taylor jawed at the crowd heading into a PIP break. [C]

Taylor was in offensive control coming out of the break and told Hook that he would send him back to his father in a bodybag. Hook rallied and performed a pair of suplexes on Taylor before covering him for a two count. Taylor came back with a uranage slam and then performed a second rope splash for a near fall.

Schiavone said he’d never seen Hook take a beating like this and not say die. Hook caught Taylor in Redrum. Taylor tried to break it by backing into the corner twice, but Hook held on. Taylor fell backwards onto Hook to break the hold, but then Hook reapplied it. The referee checked Taylor’s arm and then called for the bell…

Hook defeated Shane Taylor in 10:25 to retain the FTW Championship.

Powell’s POV: Did Schiavone forget Hook’s match with Samoa Joe? Anyway, this was a good match with Taylor getting in plenty of offense while Hook showed resilience before getting the pin. Schiavone did a nice job on commentary of acting amazed by Hook taking so much punishment and then coming back to get the win.

Rocky Romero was interviewed by Lexi Nair on the backstage interview set and asked him what was going on with Best Friends. Romero said it’s been a tough couple of weeks, but he had to focus on his eliminator match with Roderick Strong. Kyle O’Reilly entered the picture and wished Romero good luck in his match with Strong… [C]

Roderick Strong made his entrance with Wardlow, Matt Taven, and Mike Bennett. Schiavone said it looked like it would be a four-on-one situation (it’s five-on-one with Rick Knox as the referee). Rocky Romero made his entrance. Schiavone said there was no one to help Romero due to the recent issues with the Best Friends faction…

2. AEW International Champion Roderick Strong (w/Wardlow, Matt Taven, Mike Bennett) vs. Rocky Romero in an eliminator match. Romero held Strong’s arm while standing on the middle rope and then dropped one knee on it. Schiavone said it was like a one-armed meteora. He got a laugh out of Menard by saying he needed to call the human encyclopedia Excalibur to find out. Schiavone noted that Mike Mansury told him it was the Meteora Lite.

A short time later, Romero caught Strong with a kick from the apron and then jumped off and dropkicked him. Romero did the Eddie Guerrero shimmy heading into a picture-in-picture break. [C] Romero performed a suicide dive on Taven, then performed another on Strong on the other side of the ring.

Back in the ring, Strong caught Romero with a big boot and covered him for a two count. Strong hoisted up Romero, who countered into a huracanrana. Romero followed up with a DDT for a two count. Strong and Romero ended up on the ropes moments later. Romero hit Sliced Bread for another near fall.

Romero went up top and was distracted by Strong’s sidekicks. Strong joined him on the ropes and was knocked down by Romero, who then jumped toward him and ate a knee strike to the face. Strong covered Romero and got the three count.

AEW International Champion Roderick Strong defeated Rocky Romero in 11:40 in an eliminator match.

After the match, Kyle O’Reilly came out and checked on Romero while Taven and Bennett put Strong on their shoulders. Romero got to his feet and was clotheslined by Wardlow. O’Reilly stopped Taven and Bennett from putting the boots to Romero. Strong turned O’Reilly around and hit him with a knee strike. Strong knelt over O’Reilly and said he told him he could do it on his own, but O’Reilly made the wrong decision…

Powell’s POV: The usual good match followed by an actual storyline development. I can’t say that I’m all that excited about O’Reilly feuding with his buddies once again, but he and Strong will surely have quality matches together.

Footage aired from last week’s Collision of Yuka Sakazaki beating Trish Adora, which was followed by Serena Deeb coming out and applauding…

Serena Deeb was interviewed by Nair, who asked her why she came out after last week’s match. Deeb said she watched from backstage and thought Sakazaki was great and someone she wanted to get in the ring with. Deeb said it was Battle of the Belts and she was still waiting for her title shot. She said she’s not worried about it because she’s ranked third. She said Sakazaki should consider last week her invitation into the Deeb Dojo. Deeb said she would show Sakazaki why she’s the professor of pro wrestling… [C]

Lexi Nair delivered the introductions for the main event. Athena and Billie Starkz came out first. Schiavone noted that Athena has been ROH Women’s Champion for 490 days. Red Velvet’s entrance followed…

3. Athena (w/Billie Starkz) vs. Red Velvet for the ROH Women’s Championship. The wrestlers adhered to the Code of Honor handshake before the opening bell. Schiavone said they had breaking news and then announced that Tony Khan signed Roderick Strong vs. Kyle O’Reilly for the AEW International Championship for AEW Dynasty. Athena dumped Velvet on the apron heading into a PIP break. [C]

Athena hoisted up Velvet for a move, but Velvet pulled her back in reverse DDT fashion and got a two count. Athena begged off and then pulled Velvet into the turnbuckle. Athena hoisted up Velvet and performed a rolling senton. Athena hoisted her up again and then mocked Velvet’s mix it up gesture, but Velvet rolled her into a pin for a two count.

Athena came right back with slam for a two count and showed frustration over not getting the pin. A short time later, Velvet used her legs to pull Athena off the ropes. Athena ducked a kick and rolled up Velvet, who rolled through and hit Athena with a kick and a DDT for a near fall. Velvet went up top and then Athena went to the floor.

Velvet dove off the middle rope at Athena, who caught her and then slammed her on the floor. Velvet fired up while Schiavone reminded viewers that they use a 20-count in ROH. Athena superkicked Velvet and then grabbed her by the hair and flung her into ring’s LED boards twice.

Back in the ring, Athena set up for a move, but Velvet countered into a rollup for a two count. Velvet superkicked Athena, who then dropped her with a punch or a forearm. Athena went up top and hit her O-Face finisher and scored the clean pin…

Athena defeated Red Velvet in 12:40 to retain the ROH Women’s Championship.

After the match, Starkz held up Velvet while Athena mocked her stir it up gesture again. Velvet hit Athena and Starkz, but they quickly outnumbered her. Athena held Velvet while Starkz prepared to hit her with a title belt.

Queen Aminata ran out and saved Velvet. Aminata put Athena down with an Air Raid Crash. Starkz checked on Athena. Aminata tried to kick Athena out of the ring. Athena barked at Aminata and was hopefully selling while she favored one of her shoulders as she and Starkz headed to the back…

Powell’s POV: A good match with a clean finish. I’ll never understand why Athena and Billie Starkz are stuck behind the HonorClub paywall. Imagine if Athena had been spotlighted as a long running AEW Women’s Champion and they were now building toward a showdown match between her and Mercedes Mone.

Overall, it depends what you are looking for. The three-hour block featured the usual good wrestling from AEW, but every match outcome felt predictable and the storyline developments were minimal. Will Pruett has the night off, so I will be back later tonight with the combined AEW Collision and Battle of the Belts X audio review for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons).


Readers Comments (1)

  1. Okay but where would that have left Toni storm ?

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