AEW Battle of the Belts III Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

Doc-Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured Columnist IVAugust 6, 2022

AEW Battle of the Belts III Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

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    Credit: AEW

    Welcome to Bleacher Report's coverage and recap of AEW Battle of the Belts 3 on August 6.

    These quarterly TV specials have become a regular occurrence in AEW, and while this particular event was not hyped up much in advance, the card had three solid matchups.

    Claudio Castagnoli put the ROH World Championship on the line against Konosuke Takeshita, Thunder Rosa defended the AEW women's title against Jamie Hayter, and Wardlow put his TNT title on the line against Jay Lethal.

    Let's take a look at everything that happened on Saturday's BOTB special.

Wardlow vs. Jay Lethal (TNT Championship)

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    Credit: AEW

    The first of three title matches on this card saw Wardlow defend the TNT Championship against Lethal. As usual, Satnam Singh and Sonjay Dutt were at ringside to provide support for Lethal.

    The challenger took his time entering the ring, but a distraction from Dutt allowed him to take advantage. He showed some power by hitting a nice suplex, but Wardlow no-sold it and popped right back up to his feet.

    This match followed the exact pattern you would expect. Lethal used his associates to get an unfair advantage, and that allowed Wardlow to fight from underneath as the underdog while still being the more physically imposing of the two.

    The War Dog scored the win with his signature powerbomb, but Lethal, Dutt and Singh attacked him after the match and left him down and out after putting him through a table.

    This was decent, but we have seen much better from both men in recent months. We don't need every match to feel like the biggest thing ever, but it felt like they were intentionally holding back at times. Both men did a great job, but the sense of urgency just wasn't there.

    Winner: Wardlow

    Grade: B-

    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Lethal suplexing Wardlow was legitimately impressive. He was giving up a lot of weight but made it look good.
    • Part of Wardlow's character is that he undersells offense like Goldberg, but when he does sell for his opponents, he does a great job.
    • One of the downsides to the Lethal Injection is you can always tell when somebody is going to counter it.
    • Wardlow's headbutt looked great.

Thunder Rosa vs. Jamie Hayter (AEW Women's World Championship)

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    Credit: AEW

    After scoring the win in a tag team match this week, Hayter earned the right to challenge Rosa for the AEW women's world title on this special.

    Britt Baker and Rebel were there for Hayter, so they did the same thing Dutt and Singh did for Lethal in the previous bout. They distracted the ref and occasionally took a cheap shot when the champ was down.

    Toni Storm came out to help even the odds as much as she could so Rosa was not at a disadvantage, but D.M.D. still found ways to distract the champ.

    This match never slowed down and allowed both women to show off the skills that brought them to the table. It was fast-paced while still allowing time for them to sell each other's offense properly. This was solid work from start to finish.

    After a few close calls. Rosa was able to get the win by pinfall on a surprised Hayter. It left the door open for them to up the ante in an eventual rematch.

    Winner: Thunder Rosa

    Grade: B+

    Notable Moments and Observations

    • Hayter looked fired-up for this match during her entrance.
    • Rosa was really throwing herself into the barricade when Hayter was in control. Some people look like they slow down right before they are thrown into something, but not Rosa. She hits it with full force.
    • The side slam Hayter hit onto the steps looked awesome. Rosa's facial expressions of pain sold it well, too.
    • Rosa hit a brutal low dropkick that almost looked like it decapitated Hayter.
    • The way Hayter sells a crossbody is always fun because she makes her opponents look good in the process.

Claudio Castagnoli vs. Konosuke Takeshita (ROH World Championship)

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    Credit: AEW

    The ROH world title was on the line in the main event when Castagnoli put the belt on the line against Takeshita. As soon as the ref called for the bell, the champ sprinted at his opponent with the hope of hitting an uppercut.

    Takeshita was a little too quick and avoided the impact, so that initiated a nice technical exchange of holds and counters. Both of these men are known for their precision, so everything they did looked smooth without feeling too rehearsed.

    Every time Castagnoli tried to ground his opponent with a submission, Takeshita would break free, but whenever it came to an exchange of strikes, the champ had the upper hand.

    This was a clinic. Both men demonstrated how good a match can be when both competitors share a similar set of skills while still having their own unique styles. Storylines are great, but sometimes putting two talented performers in the ring together is all you need to create a fun main event.

    Takeshita came close to winning several times before Castagnoli finally put him away with the Ricolabomb for the pin to retain his title. This was an awesome way to cap off a fun hour of wrestling.

    Winner: Claudio Castagnoli

    Grade: A

    Notable Moments and Observations

    • This is one of those situations where both guys are so popular that you didn't hear a single person booing during the entire match. 
    • The monkey flip spot was fun, and William Regal appeared to think so too judging by his reaction on commentary. 
    • Takeshita is one of those guys who moves like someone who is much smaller and lighter. He is so quick on his feet that it's easy to forget he is kind of a big dude. 
    • The DDT Pro Wrestling mainstay hit a beautiful flip over the top rope to take out the champion. 
    • The only move in the match that looked less-than-ideal was the frog splash from Takeshita. 

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