- AEW World Tag Titles, No Holds Barred: The Acclaimed(c) vs Jarrett, Lethal ***3/4
- TBS Title: Jade(c) vs Skye ***
- AEW All-Atlantic Title: Orange(c) vs Kip ***1/2
We're going a bit old-school RW+B with the format here, like a team wearing a throwback for fun.
I was pretty critical in the past of the Battle of the Belts shows that AEW has held, thinking of them as half-assed throwaways that just happened to have a championship on the line. The talent would try to overdeliver but it wasn't always made up of good matchups to begin with. Ratings were down rather low because of a few reasons, too.
- Most people didn't seem to care about the events because AEW did little to make you care.
- They started running them after Rampage, which is a show is a bad timeslot that AEW also had been mishandling.
They are still running these after Rampage, but they at least seem to be trying harder with that program now. The card even had some build behind it.
Now, we start with an interesting one. You see, my buddy that has been trying to sell me on why AEW needs Double J, and is failing miserably to do so, told me that this was the best match yet to air under the Battle of the Belts name. I'm just saying that a lot of the dudes that AEW already had yet had nothing for could easily fill his spot no problem. It'd get them something to do, help someone that actually needs this TV time, and they likely might be able to do the spot even better.
Anyway, this was a chaotic and overbooked crowd pleaser, being far more entertaining than it had any right to be. Your mileage will vary greatly, especially if you have a stick stuck just right in the wrong places, but I did have a great time here.
I still think Jeff isn't needed at all.
Next, Skye Blue had the fans behind her nicely as she played the sparky underdog against the TBS Champion, Jade. Why did she get a shot at the belt? Reasons!
She's not had a victory outside of one on Dark in November and lost five times after that. She barely wins outside of quick YouTube matches on rare occasion. I guess spunk is enough to wrestle for the belt on what should be a big show.
The good news is that Blue continued her spunky ways and really worked hard to make this seem competitive. I actually wouldn't have even minded a title change here if I'm being honest and, while far from great, this was at least fun.
Jade would retain in the end and she looked better than usual simply because of Skye's efforts and her own attempts to keep up.
48-0 for the girl Goldberg.
Last up, Kip and Orange main evented. If they can't truly guarantee that whomever replaces Cassidy as All-Atlantic Champ will be as good as his run has been, they should just keep this running like the damn battery bunny.
Now, this was overbooked to be clear, with manager ejections and heels sitting at ringside to watch on. Ref-bumps? Yup, those are here again, too. I'm also not huge on Kip, thinking he's good but bottoms out below any better adjective. This had every reason to be that same exact quality, but instead they overdelivered with a sincerely fun, borderline great title defense.
They had some build and they paid it off so...props.
The numbers were actually back up a bit for this one and the good news is that I think it rewarded those fans. Do that, and they come back. This was a big step in the right direction and I am very hopeful that this is what we see more of moving forward.
In short, Battle of the Belts V was legitimately a good special event. Everything overdelivered and I had a blast watching it.
Overall Rating: 75/100%