Battle Of The Belts VIII
By Thomas Hall on 22nd October 2023
Battle Of The Belts VIII
Date: October 21, 2023
Location: FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Tony Schiavone, Kevin Kelly
We’re back with another one of these and this show is extra packed with four title matches in one hour. Granted I’m not sure how much of a difference that is going to make when there has not been a title change at a Battle Of The Belts in over a year and a half. Maybe that changes tonight though so let’s get to it.
We open with Jon Moxley leaving the ring and going to the back, where he runs into International Champion Orange Cassidy. They bump shoulders (Cassidy seemed to be the instigator) and the fight is…not on as the rest of the Blackpool Combat Club and a referee breaks it up.
International Title: Orange Cassidy vs. John Silver
Cassidy is defending and Silver has Alex Reynolds with him. Silver puts his hands in….Cassidy’s pockets so Cassidy puts his own hands on Silver’s head for a headbutt. Cassidy dives onto Reynolds, who had taken the sunglasses before the match. Back in and Silver misses a kick to the head but manages a heck of a toss into the corner. Cassidy manages to ram him into the buckle a few times but Silver is right back with a delayed superplex for two. They head to the apron where Silver hits a one armed gorilla press (that’s not bad) to the floor.
We take a break and come back with Cassidy hitting a Michinoku Driver for two, followed by some harder than usual lazy kicks. The spinning DDT is countered into a small package to give Silver two but Stundog Millionaire gets Cassidy out of trouble. Beach Break gets two but Reynolds offers a distraction and gets in a belt shot for two of his own. The Spin Doctor gets another near fall on Cassidy, who is right back with the Orange Punch to retain at 9:30.
Rating: C+. I know it’s a minor show and not exactly worthy of a big name challenger, but it was really hard to get into Silver coming for the title. He felt like someone thrown out there for the sake of having a title shot and that doesn’t make for the most interesting match. Cassidy vs. Moxley seems destined to take place again sooner rather than later so Cassidy losing was a very long shot at best against almost anyone, but there wasn’t a more serious challenger available?
Andrade El Idolo is banged up after his loss to Bryan Danielson but CJ Perry comes in to offer her guidance. Andrade seems intrigued, apparently not knowing what this means for his future health.
Ring Of Honor TV Title: Samoa Joe vs. Tony Nese
Nese, with Mark Sterling, is challenging and we get their traditional “you’re all fat and need to exercise” bit before the match. Joe hammers away in the corner, avoids a moonsault (as only he can) and finishes with the MuscleBuster to retain at 1:17. Total squash.
Post match Joe says MJF can give him what he wants or he can take it, but he’ll be the next AEW World Champion.
TBS Title: Kris Statlander vs. Willow Nightingale
Nightingale is challenging. They trade shoulders to start and neither can get very far. Statlander sends her to the floor and hits a moonsault off the apron for a crash. A posting cuts Statlander off (despite a visible gap between her head and the steel) and Nightingale Cannonballs her against the steps.
We take a break and come back with Nightingale launching her into the corner but Statlander hits a running knee. The Blue Thunder Bomb gets two but Nightingale is right back with a Pounce. A quick DDT gives Statlander two and she goes up top, only to get super Death Valley Drivered back down. The Cannonball crushes Statlander but she’s fine enough to powerbomb Nightingale out of the corner. The 450 retains the title at 10:23.
Rating: B-. They went with the hoss fight here and the two of them beat the fire out of each other for about ten minutes. It was an exchange of one big shot after another and it made for a good match. Statlander is still clearing out the division and is going to need a new challenger. Right now though, I’m not sure who that is, though she almost needs to move up to the Women’s Title sooner or later. At the same time, Nightingale continues to lose in big matches, which is quite the sad thing to see for her.
Post match respect is teased but Skye Blue runs in to break it up. Nightingale does shake Statlander’s hand as Blue isn’t pleased.
Orange Cassidy doesn’t like the Blackpool Combat Club (Cassidy: “I don’t care about Yuta.”) but if they want to fight, Claudio Castagnoli and Bryan Danielson can fight him and…..Kazuchika Okada on Dynamite. Well that elevated quickly.
Trios Titles: Acclaimed/Billy Gunn vs. Matt Menard/Angelo Parker/Daniel Garcia
Menard and company, with Anna Jay, are challenging. Hold on though as the Memphis Grizzlies’ mascot is here for a pre-match scissoring. Caster grabs a hammerlock on Garcia to start before pulling him down into a headscissors. Garcia gets up and teases the dance but Menard breaks that up again. More dancing is teases but this time Anna breaks it up and gets ejected for her efforts.
Bowens slugs away at Menard and kicks Parker out to the floor. Gunn comes in (the fans approve) and we get the scissoring double elbow. It’s already back to Caster, who gets stomped down in the corner as we take a break. Back with Bowens getting punched down, allowing Garcia to step over him a few times. Bowens manages to kick the villains away but Garcia decks Caster before the tag.
A rolling tag brings Gunn in though and house is quickly cleaned. Scissor Me Timbers hits Menard and we get the three way scissoring. Garcia is back in and tries the dancing but has to beat up Caster instead. Now the dancing can ensue, but it takes too long and Gunn is back in with the Fameasser. The assisted Iconoclasm retains the titles at 10:48.
Rating: C+. This was more of a fun match than anything else and there is nothing wrong with wrapping up with that sort of thing. The fans are going to cheer for the Acclaimed and Gunn pretty much no matter what and Garcia’s dancing is crazy popular right now. There was even a hint of some drama over a title change here so this was a nice way to go to wrap up the show.
Overall Rating: B-. As can be the case around here, the wrestling was fine but there is a grand total of no need to watch this show. There hasn’t been a title change on one of these shows since last April and it’s not like there was anything great on this one either. It’s worth a look if you are completely out of anything to see, but don’t expect much of anything that matters in the grand scheme of things.
Orange Cassidy b. John Silver – Orange Punch
Samoa Joe b. Tony Nese – MuscleBuster
Kris Statlander b. Willow Nightingale – 450
Acclaimed/Billy Gunn b. Matt Menard/Angelo Parker/Daniel Garcia – Assisted Iconoclasm to Parker
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