AEW Battle Of The Belts Results – January 8, 2022
A special cold open with new theme is played as the first-ever AEW Battle of the Belts gets off-and-running on TNT. We then shoot inside the Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, N.C. where Jim Ross does his “and you know what that means” catchphrase before his fellow co-commentators are introduced.
Interim TNT Championship
Dustin Rhodes vs. Sammy Guevara
On that note, we send things down to the ring for our first title match of an all-title match lineup for this evening. The familiar sounds of Dustin Rhodes’ theme plays and out comes “The Natural” to fill-in for his brother Cody Rhodes in this special Interim TNT Championship contest.
Rhodes heads out accompanied by Arn Anderson, who shakes his hand, and then the two head to the ring. With Dustin settled inside the squared circle, theme music fades down.
Now the familiar sounds of Sammy Guevara’s theme plays and out comes “The Spanish God” of the Inner Circle faction to take the first step in getting back the title he lost to Cody Rhodes. Before the bell, “The Dapper Yapper” Justin Roberts introduces some special guests in the crowd, including David Crockett.
The bell sounds and this interim title bout is off-and-running. We see Guevara and Rhodes meet in the middle of the ring where Dustin extends a hand to him. Guevara hesitates but ultimately shakes his hand and then this one gets going.
Early on we see a lot of movement, with Guevara using his speed and quickness to establish the early control. Dustin stops at one point, asking Guevara to give him a minute and then he puts his hands on his knees and gasps for breath in a funny spot. While doing that, Guevara arrogantly hops on the top in the corner and acts like he’s laying back and lounging.
From there, the action resumes and we see Guevara still in control. The action spills out to the ringside area where Guevara is working over Dustin. He stops to make a gesture to Arn Anderson, who responds in kind by flipping him off. Soon after this, Dustin takes over after hitting a big piledriver on the floor.
Guevara is nearly counted out, but makes it back in the ring just in time to keep this one going. As the action picks back up with Rhodes now clearly in control of the offense, we head to a mid-match, picture-in-picture commercial break.
As we settle back in from the commercial break, we see Dustin is still very much in the offensive driver’s seat. He hits a big powerslam with impressive quickness, which the commentators point out is a trademark of his throughout his career. He takes Guevara over to the corner and climbs up to slug away as the fans count along with each punch in the old-school ten-punch spot.
After this, Guevara shifts the offensive momentum in his favor. He ends up sending Dustin out to the floor the hard way, where “The Natural” is nearly counted out this time. While Dustin is on the floor, we see Guevara checking his knee. He must have decided it’s fine, as he charges to the ropes and leaps, hitting a crazy flipping high spot to the floor. Again he seems to favor his knee after the landing, which the commentators point out on the broadcast.
He continues to deliver punishment to Dustin in the ring, but not for long, as he goes for another crazy high risk-move, which this time does not pay off for him, as Dustin avoids it. Dustin quickly follows that up with a Cross-Rhodes for a close near fall that almost ends this one. After that he hits a Code Red for another super close near fall. He is starting to look dejected and unsure how to finish off his younger foe. He makes the decision to head to the top-rope, but takes too long.
This allows Guevara to recover and he stops Dustin, hoisting him up on his shoulders and connecting with a big GTH for an incredibly close near fall that the crowd completely bit on. When the pin doesn’t finish this one off, we see Dustin roll out to the floor to recover. Meanwhile, Guevara again seems to favor his knee, which the commnentators continue to point out. Out of nowhere, we see a masked man come from under the ring and it turns out to be Fuego Del Sol.
Guevara’s best friend pulls a table from under the ring and sets it up on the floor after getting the approval from “The Spanish God.” Arn Anderson notices this and heads over to tell Fuego to leave. He does the glock gesture and Fuego over-sells it, reacting like it’s a real gun and running off. Afterwards, Dustin and Sammy start duking it out on the ring apron. Guevara looks to put Dustin through the table but Dustin ends up taking over and hitting a Canadian Destroyer on Guevara through the table.
That looked incredibly dangerous and scary as hell. Aubrey Edwards, the refere of the match, checks on both guys while the commentators also question how both guys aren’t badly injured after that. The action finds its’ way back into the ring as the fans loudly chant “This is awesome!” Dustin tries for the pin after the crazy table spot on the floor, however Guevara kicks out. He hits another Cross Rhodes on him and then a second.
Arn gives him an order from the floor so Dustin goes to pick Guevara up for another move, which the commentators speculate like his brother, will be a Tiger Driver ’98. We never find out, however, because Guevara avoids it and hits a counter of his own. We see both guys going for back-and-forth pin attempts, and it is Guevara who manages to keep both of Dustin’s shoulders pinned to the mat to pick up the three-count and earn the victory.
With the win, Guevara is now the Interim TNT Champion. David Crockett makes his way into the ring to present “The Spanish God” with the interim title belt. He celebrates as his music plays and in comes Dustin to give him another handshake and a hug. He raises Sammy’s hand and walks off.
Winner and NEW Interim TNT Champion: Sammy Guevara
After The Match: Daniel Garcia & Sammy Guevara Pull-Apart Brawl
Once Dustin exits the ring, out of the clear blue, we see Daniel Garcia jump the guard railing from his seat in the crowd — where he was shown on-camera and acknowledged by the commentators during the match — and get right in Guevara’s face.
The two jaw back and forth to each other and then a brawl ensues. It’s a wild one, too. They roll around on the mat trading shots until a bunch of officials hit the ring to break them up. As they do, we head to another commercial break.
Sammy Guevara Announces His First Interim TNT Title Defense
We return from the break to a special vignette that shows various title-holders in AEW explaining what it means to be a champion, which keeps with the “Battle of the Belts” all-title-matches theme for tonight’s special event.
From there, we shoot backstage to a post-match interview with new Interim TNT Champion Sammy Guevara. He is asked about Daniel Garcia’s post-match attack in the ring.
Guevara says he doesn’t care about Garcia or what he did but goes on to vow to break his face and announce a match against him with his newly won title on-the-line on next week’s Dynamite.
Ricky Starks (C) vs. Matt Sydal
Now the theme for Matt Sydal hits as we settle back inside the Bojangles Coliseum. Sydal makes his way to the ring for our next title match of the evening. Once in the ring, his music fades down.
The theme for the champion, Ricky Starks, begins playing as the FTW Champion from Team Taz emerges and makes his way down to the squared circle. During his ring walk, Taz and the commentators talk a bit about the history of the FTW title.
We hear the bell and this one is off-and-running. Sydal goes right after Starks and starts peppering him with kicks. The commentators point out that Starks’ leg seems to be feeling the affects of those immediately. Starks takes over on offense shortly after that and when he does, we head to a mid-match commercial break as the action continues.
As we settle back in from the break, we see that Starks is still in the offensive driver’s seat, however this doesn’t last for long. Sydal starts to fight back and eventually he takes over on offense. He blasts Starks with a wide-variety of kicks and now he is selling his ankle / leg, which the commentators point out. He hits a big spot for a close near fall.
From there, we hear Taz encouraging Starks to fight back on commentary. Sydal hits another big spot for another close near fall, but yet again Starks kicks out. He heads to the top-rope now and connects with a Meteora for an even closer near fall.
As the action continues, we see Sydal feed Starks into the ropes but Starks comes right off the ropes and blasts through Sydal with a huge spear. He follows that up with his finisher and scores the pin fall victory. With the win, Starks retains the FTW title.
Winner and STILL FTW Champion: Ricky Starks
After The Match: Starks & Powerhouse Hobbs Attack, Dante Martin Makes Save
Once the match wraps up, we see Starks lose his cool and rush over to beat down Sydal even more. Powerhouse Hobbs of Team Taz joins him in the ring and helps him with a two-on-one post-match attack.
Lee Moriarty runs down to the ring to make the save, but ends up getting gobbled up by the much larger and stronger Hobbs. The beatdown continues until finally, Dante Martin sprints down to the ring and starts firing away at Hobbs with strikes.
We see Hobbs stop and simply smile at Martin. Eventually Martin mixes in some kicks and knocks Hobbs out of the ring. He yells at Hobbs that they don’t have to wait for next Wednesday, they can fight right now.
Hobbs and Starks retreat to the back to end the post-match segment. After this, we head to another commercial break with our main event waiting for us on the other side.
AEW Women’s Championship
Riho vs. Britt Baker (C)
When we return from the commercial break, a special video feature airs to deliver some final hype for our main event of the evening, which will feature the AEW Women’s Championship at stake.
Once the video package wraps up, we head back inside the Bojangles Coliseum where Riho’s theme plays and the first-ever AEW Women’s Champion makes her way out and heads down to the ring.
As Riho settles inside the ring, her music fades down and then we hear the familiar sounds of the theme song for Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. The reigning and defending AEW Women’s Champion makes her way to the ring as fireworks and pyro explodes behind her.
The commentators sing her praises as she settles into the ring. She takes her entrance attire off and then we see that Baker and Jamie Hayter still have some bad feelings towards each other following the scene after the recent Hayter and Baker vs. Ruby Soho and Riho match.
With both competitors in the ring, “The Dapper Yapper” Justin Roberts handles the final pre-match ring introductions for this main event championship contest. The bell sounds and we are now off-and-running. Immediately we see Rebel and Hayter reach under the bottom rope from opposite sides of the ring, making it apparent right away that Riho is going to have to beat three women, not one, if she wants a shot at recapturing the AEW Women’s Championship.
We see some back-and-forth action early on and then Baker sends Riho out to the floor the hard way. Once on the floor, we see Hayter and Rebel get in her face until Baker emerges and hits a big sling blade on Riho. As Baker goes to roll Riho back in the ring, but Hayter stops her. Again Baker looks annoyed with Hayter. Hayter pulls a table out from under the floor and then Baker smiles and begins helping her set it up.
This ends up backfiring, however, as Riho runs and connects with a big dropkick to take out Baker. She does the same to Hayter and then brings Baker in the ring. As soon as the action resumes in the ring with Riho in control, we see the momentum shift again and the champ takes back over. As soon as Baker takes over control of the offense, we head to a mid-match, picture-in-picture commercial break with the last thing we see being Baker slapping Hayter in the face after she jumps up on the ring apron.
When we return from the break, we see that Baker is dominating the action once again. Riho fights back into competitive form and then we see both ladies in a striking exchange. The commentators question how smart that is on Riho’s behalf. Riho ends up taking over and she gets Baker down and out before climbing to the top-rope with intentions of finishing this one off. Instead, we see Rebel distract her from the ringside arrea, so Riho launches herself off the top towards the floor where she connects on Rebel with a double foot-stomp.
Back in the ring, Riho finds herself in trouble now as Baker takes back over. She hits a big spot on Riho for a close near fall. Rebel gives her the glove and she looks to finish this one off with her submission finisher. Riho ends up avoiding it. Baker hits some other trademark spots including a big stomp for near falls that are as close as they can be without finishing this up. Eventually Rebel gets on the apron one-too many times for comfort and this leads to the ref ejecting her from ringside.
Soon after we see Baker working over Riho and then Hayter hops on the ring apron. Baker gets in her face and as they argue, Riho hits a big spot from behind. Now we see Riho try for a spot but Riho looks to counter. Instead, Baker avoids the counter and hits another stomp for another close near fall. When Riho kicks out, she immediately slaps her Lockjaw submission finisher on and Riho taps out. Baker wins.
Once the match wraps up, we hear Baker’s theme playing as she stands up to celebrate retaining her AEW Women’s Championship. The commentators recap the main highlights and when we return live, we see Baker celebrating as Rebel re-joins her in the ring after being ejected from the ringside area during the contest.
Hayter brings in Baker’s title and the two eventually hug, along with Rebel, after initially hesitating. Baker does her D.M.D. gesture to the camera and then does a cheers bang with her belt right into the camera lens as the commentators thank us for tuning in and we go off the air. That’s how the first-ever Battle of the Belts special wraps up on TNT. Thanks for joining us!
Winner and STILL AEW Women’s Champion: Britt Baker
Credit: Matt Boone