AEW International Champion Orange Cassidy def. Lance Archer by Count-Out
Archer just returned to the ring on AEW TV last night on Rampage, so no one had any reason to believe he'd be the one to end Cassidy's undefeated streak and title reign. They had a well-worked match, but the count-out finish really ruined it. I assume the idea is to keep the feud going, if only for one more match, but it was a weak way of opening the show. Plus, this was a Battle of the Belts special, not an ordinary episode of Dynamite or Rampage. The crowd wasn't happy and I don't blame them.
Tony Schiavone Interviewed The Acclaimed and Billy Gunn
I'm glad The Acclaimed have been getting plenty of television time this year despite largely being out of the title picture, but the stuff they've been doing hasn't been my cup of tea, personally. Their mini feud with Jericho Appreciation Society was lame and their latest storyline with QTV hasn't been much better. They challenged QTV to a match next Friday on Rampage during this segment and announced that they'll have a rematch with House of Black for the AEW World Trios Championship next Saturday on Collision. I don't know that this needed to happen in the ring, though.
AEW TBS Champion Toni Storm def. Taya Valkyrie
A weather storm (fitting with it being a Toni Storm match, I know) cut the satellite feed, so we missed the final few minutes. They're available on AEW's YouTube page, and after watching the closing stretch, it's clear viewers didn't miss much. It was a solid match, but even with Valkyrie having the home field advance, it was difficult to buy into the possibility of her winning after already failing to win the AEW TBS Championship three times this year.
Martha Hart Presented Willow Nightingale and Ricky Starks with Their Owen Hart Cups
Martha also appeared last year following the finals of the inaugural Owen Hart Cups, though I don't remember if she spoke on the pre-show or after the finals concluded (or not at all). Both this and Collision emanated from Calgary, so it was nice that she had a chance to speak about the Hart family ties to the area. An annual speech probably isn't necessary (it reminds me of what WWE used to do with Dana Warrior and the Warrior Award at the WWE Hall of Fame every year), but it made sense in this instance.
AEW TNT Champion Luchasaurus def. Shawn Spears
Christian Cage serving as Luchasaurus' surrogate and defending the title on his behalf would've been more entertaining. These two have been around forever and it felt like a Dark main event. That's not to say it was bad, but Spears was hardly a threat and Luchasaurus is just there at this point. The distraction finish was bush league as well and not the most effective way of sending the message that these Battle of the Belts specials are important.
I continue to question why Battle of the Belts is still a thing. We're seven installments in and I believe only once has a championship changed hands, that being the AEW TNT Championship on the second one in April 2022. The matches are well wrestled, but they have very little storyline significance and the build always sucks. In short, they're a waste of time and this was no different. There's nothing worth seeking out from this show. You're better off using the hour to check out FTR vs. Bullet Club Gold from Collision tonight instead.