BRM Reviews AEW Battle of the Belts 3 (CLAUDIO VS. TAKESHITA!)

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Big Red Machine
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BRM Reviews AEW Battle of the Belts 3 (CLAUDIO VS. TAKESHITA!)

Post by Big Red Machine » Aug 8th, '22, 12:26

AEW TNT TITLE MATCH: Wardlow(c) vs. Jay Lethal (w/Sonjay Dutt & Satnam Singh)- 6/10
Wardlow won a passable match cleanly.

The heels attack Wardlow for no real reason. He put up a good fight, but I’m sure he would have appreciated some help. Best Friends sure look like assholes at the moment for not helping Wardlow after Wardlow came and saved them last week.
But it’s not just Best Friends who look bad. How about AEW management? Eight days ago, these heels did this same thing to Orange Cassidy and injured him. This week they started doing it to someone else, and no one came out to make the save?
Tony Schiavone is apparently a mind-reader, as he knows that the heels would have attacked Wardlow even if they won. Why would they do that?

AEW WOMEN’S WORLD TITLE MATCH: Thunder Rosa(c) (w/Toni Storm) vs. Jamie Hayter (w/Rebel & Dr. Britt Baker, DMD)- 7.5/10
They did a great job of making it feel like Thunder Rosa was in trouble and just escaped by the skin of her teeth. If they had actually done something to make Hayter feel like she had a chance of winning beforehand, this could have been a really big moment for her- even in defeat- and would have set up a rematch that I think people would be clamoring to see.

ROH WORLD TITLE MATCH: Claudio Castagnoli(c) vs. Konosuke Takeshita- 9/10
This was an absolutely tremendous match, with pretty much everything you could want. The thing I really want to highlight here was how close they made the nearfalls look. It’s the sort of thing that you really need to have in a situation like this where we all knew, intellectually, that there was no way the belt was changing hands, because one of the only two things that can overcome that perception during a match is seeing the referee’s hand getting close to the mat while the champ’s shoulders are still down and he or she hasn’t even started to move to get them up yet (the other is a false finish constructed so perfectly that the situation of it allows you to talk yourself into the possibility of a title change).

This was a great show from AEW in the ring (especially for one-hour show), but my main takeaway from it is how much better it could have been if it had been built better. Every minute wasted on clowns like Danhausen or the Dark Order, or having a tournament for a championship that is mostly going to be defended in other promotions, or these odd sidelines stories like this entire Leila Grey thing (it clearly has a purpose, but when you only have so much time, it’s the sort of story that really isn’t worth doing because Leila Grey just plain not good enough to warrant that chunk of TV time. She’s passable, but passable is towards the bottom end totem pole in AEW) is time that could have been used to make Jamie Hayter feel like more than just Britt’s sidekick, or to build up Takeshita with wins over credible contenders, and to let us know what winning the ROH World Title would mean to him, or to get promos from Claudio letting us know how embarrassing it would be for him to lose it so quickly (and if you’re going to say that they couldn’t do anything with the ROH World Title match because they didn’t want to spoil the Claudio vs. Gresham result, then they shouldn’t have done an ROH World Title match on this show in the first place).
Hold #712: ARM BAR!

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