Battle Of The Belts VI
By Thomas Hall on 8th April 2023
Battle Of The Belts VI
Date: April 7, 2023
Location: Ryan Center, Kingston, Rhode Island
Commentators: Excalibur, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone
It’s time for another of these specials, which as you might have guessed, are all about titles. These do not tend to feature many title changes and this edition’s card was announced with about ten minutes to go in this week’s Dynamite. This could go in a variety of ways but there are some interesting matches on the show. Let’s get to it.
International Title: Orange Cassidy vs. Dralistico
Cassidy, with the Best Friends, is defending, and runs into Julia Hart, who was still at ringside after the main event of Rampage. Dralistico, with La Faccion Ingobernable, bails to the floor to start before throwing some of his gear at Cassidy. They go with some grappling and Cassidy gets taken down, leaving him glancing up at Dralistico. A hurricanrana sends Cassidy outside, where the seconds get into a staredown.
Back in and Cassidy fires off some lazy chops before taking him by the hand and walking the ropes. Instead of hitting him, Cassidy puts a hand in the pocket and casually jumps down. A dropkick sends Dralistico to the floor and poses, just to rub it in a bit. Jose the Assistant crotches Cassidy on top though, leaving Dralistico to hit a big dive to break up the brawl on the floor.
Everyone else fights up the ramp and we take a break. Back with Cassidy hitting a Michinoku Driver for two and the tornado DDT for the same. Dralistico Codebreakers him for two and they both go to the top to slug it out. They go back to the mat with Dralistico grabbing a Fujiwara armbar to send Cassidy over to the rope. A Canadian Destroyer into a spinning kick to the head gives Dralistico two more. Cassidy is sent outside and punches Jose the Assistant down. Back in and Dralistico’s spinning knee to the face is countered into a small package for two. Cassidy hits the Orange Punch to retain at 10:49.
Rating: C. Not a bad match here, but there was almost no drama about the idea of Dralistico winning the title. It also didn’t exactly feel special when Cassidy has been on TV so often lately as it isn’t a special defense just just the next one. Cassidy is being built up for a major match though as the person who beats him is going to feel like a big deal.
Post match Cassidy is badly favoring his hand, which was already banged up after punching Buddy Matthews’ mast last week. The House of Black pops up on screen and says that was impressive before Buddy Matthews issues the challenge for the title match.
We look back at Dynamite.
Mark Briscoe says he has a lot left and is looking forward to the Lucha Bros’ match tonight. Jay Lethal comes in to ask how long they’ve known each other. Jay Lethal comes in to say everyone is still proud of Mark and they’ve known each other for over twenty years. Lethal offers to have them work together and they shake hands. Jeff Jarrett/Satnam Singh and Sonjay Dutt come in but Mark isn’t sure about this.
TBS Title: Jade Cargill vs. Billie Starkz
Starkz is challenging and doesn’t like Jade not being impressed. Jade talks trash and gets slapped in the face, earning a ram into the corner. A backbreaker keeps Starkz in trouble and Jade spanks her, only to get caught in a Backstabber. Starkz’s sunset flip is broken and Jade sends her outside as we take a break.
Back with Jade dropping her again but Jaded is countered into a hurricanrana. Jade is sent outside and a running dropkick to the back connects. Back in and a Downward Spiral drops Jade but she gets her knees up to block a Swanton. The pump kick sets up Jaded to retain the title at 8:35.
Rating: C+. Starkz was trying here but again, there was no reason to believe that she was going to win the title. At the end of the day, Jade’s title reign has been built up as such a big deal that it is going to take something special to beat her. Starkz is talented, but she isn’t going to come here and be the big streak breaker.
Post match Taya Valkyrie comes out and takes Jade down. Road To Valhalla is blocked though and Jade bails.
Brandon Cutler and Michael Nakazawa are the only ones left of the Elite right now but they’re going to stand up to the bullies in the Blackpool Combat Club.
The Lucha Bros and QT Marshall/Powerhouse Hobbs are ready for a fight.
Ring Of Honor Tag Team Titles: Lucha Bros vs. QT Marshall/Powerhouse Hobbs
The Lucha Bros are defending. Penta does his pose at Marshall to start and they trade a few flips until both miss their finishers. Marshall gets knocked into the corner so it’s Hobbs coming in to go nose to nose with Penta. Hobbs knocks Marshall to the floor by mistake and everything breaks down, only to have Hobbs run Penta over. Fenix gets pulled out of the air and a slam plants Fenix hard. Penta tries to chop both of them down so it’s a double shoulder to drop him instead.
We take a break and come back with Penta still in trouble but managing a Sling Blade on Marshall. The Backstabber out of the corner allowing the tag off to Fenix as everything breaks down. The wheelbarrow splash gets two on Marshall and a top rope splash is good for the same with Hobbs making the save. An exchange of kicks to the head leaves everyone staggered so Hobbs runs Fenix over.
Marshall hits his cutter but Fenix takes him down again to leave everyone down again. Back in and Marshall gets kicked down again, followed by a top rope splash for two more. Hobbs runs both Bros over but Penta is back up, drawing in the rest of the QTV crew. Aaron Solo gets some of Harley Cameron’s spray into Fenix’s eyes for two. Penta gets powerbombed onto the apron but Fenix reverses Marshall’s suplex into a hurricanrana for the pin to retain the titles at 14:44.
Rating: B-. The Bros are awesome, Hobbs was treated like a monster and Marshall is still a good hand. Everything they did in the ring was good enough, but again the lack of drama hurt this a bit. The inclusion of Marshall brings everything down and there is no real way around that. Hobbs defending his own title would have been more interesting/useful, at Marshall just isn’t going to be seen as a potential champion.
Overall Rating: C+. Ever since this show began, it has felt like something AEW has to do rather than wants to do and that was the case again there. The main event is good enough but it’s nothing you wouldn’t see topped on any given Dynamite. None of the titles felt like they were in jeopardy as we will now have gone over a year since the last time a title changed hands at one of these shows. It’s nothing you’ll be mad at yourself for watching, but there’s no reason to watch this show.
Orange Cassidy b. Dralistico – Orange Punch
Jade Cargill b. Billie Starkz – Jaded
Lucha Bros b. QT Marshall/Powerhouse Hobbs – Hurricanrana to Marshall
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