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AEW Road to Battle of the Belts VI
Red's Pro-Wrestling Digest #102 *Substack Exclusive*
I started this run off with the Control Center post that preceded episodes 183 of Dynamite and 89 of Rampage (the focus of this digest edition) so that I could refresh my memory a bit. I’m still going to be running through missed content while I try hard to catch up on AEW simultaneously.
This worked pretty well to get me back on track. It also somehow got me psyched for content I didn’t care much about beforehand. The AEW production team is such a mixed-bag, folks. At times they can make you cringe but packages tend to rock from this crew.
FTR won the straps from the ass boys. The big story here was that they had teased a split. The match itself was…okay which is about the celling for content including Gunn’s nepo-boys. At least we have a legit good team as champs again.
Hey look, it’s Jay White! This dude was given an impossible role in New Japan after Kenny cut and he stepped up big. AEW is a crowded scene, but there is absolutely no reason that he shouldn’t be a star for the company.
I’m eager to see how BizCliz in AllzElizWrez is handled.
There will be no apologies for cringe.
Jungle Boy appeared at the end, trading mounted blows with the champ and getting booed every time he took control. Eventually they were broken up. MJF looked like a damn star thanks to the hot Long Island crowd.
A fairly good defense from Hayter and I note that Riho is written in all caps here. Works for me. The women’s division has always been sloppy for AEW, but Hayter really is a good champ.
After BCC apparently destroyed a bunch of EVP selected amatuers, to paraphrase Danny boy, Bryan talked a lot of shit which brought out Adam Page. Bryan would mock the Hangman as the heels beat his ass.
A screwdriver attack and a shot at WWE closed this one.
“Amatuers!” was used a bit much but this honestly was pure entertainment. Can we change the name of this unit?
Komander and Sammy could’ve been a balls-to-the-wall spotfest but instead Sammy slowed things down. K-man did get to show off, still, including a beautiful rope-walk dive spot and a series of big moves that teased an upset W. The layout did make it end up feeling a bit like watching someone playing a videogame, and not in the best way as the flow felt off. Disappointing, for sure, but fine for what it was and I did love some of the highlights.
Darby watched on.
Sammy had something to say after, calling out MJF for not wrestling enough. They ran this in Long Island so it came off especially flat, but you can tell Sammy was trying so props for that. It just didn’t land super well, in my opinion. The Pillars thing is forced and not flowing well yet from where I am currently at with the product and I’m not sure it’ll get better. I hope I am wrong.
House of Black murdered the Best Friends to keep the Trios straps in a very good, high-energy match that made 12-minutes feel like 5. A rematch on PPV could be a true banger.
I enjoyed this a lot. Very modern ECW in style and a good use of the talents involved. Hook continues to grow as a performer and has a lot of potential.
T-Bone through the table in the post-match.
The Acclaimed were punked by J.A.S. following an atomico squash meant to sprout a program and to remind us that Jericho’s goons are a cheap heel unit. Meh.
Rough around the edges in a way that kind of worked. A bad mix, though, as Jay continues to be one of the weakest roster members. Hart has made a lot of progress so I am happy she got a main event, even if it was on a show that hasn’t felt like it really mattered, but she needs better competition to continue her growth.
Good for what it was but you’ll have to get past the sharp corners.
Darby and Lee was enjoyable and I am all for seeing more of L.M. in AEW. The big story here was The Embassy and Mogul linking up, maybe setting up something for the two to actually do.
So, it’s hard to be excited about a Battle of the Belts show since those are treated as more of an afterthought than Rampage typically is but the “build” to it…nah, I can’t even get through that thought. The card wasn’t really built up at all.
The content of this set was largely good and I’m excited to see the direction that the company goes with much of it, so that’s good I suppose.
Alright, on to Battle of the Belts and then the road to the next major event.
Thanks to those that read the ramblings of a dude that is way behind on…everything.