It’s Saturday night, and you know what that means? AEW Battle of the Belts II! Just a few weeks after the wrestling world descended on Arlington, Texas, for Wrestlemania. Last night All Elite Wrestling hit Garland, Texas, for their second Battle of the Belts event.
The three-match card boasted a night of excellent championship wrestling. Sammy Guevara recaptured the TNT from Scorpio Sky to become the first three-time TNT champion. Ring of Honor showed out with Undisputed ROH Champion Johnathan Gresham retaining his title in a hard-fought battle against Dalton Castle. The night ended with AEW Women’s Champion Thunder Rosa’s debut title defense against the Native Beast, Nyla Rose.
The Thunder Rosa, Nyla feud has been slowly bubbling away. Starting with Nyla raining on Thunder Rosa’s title celebrations. Last week saw Vickie Guerrero taken out of the equation, courtesy of a cake to the face and an errant elbow. By all accounts not the best build for a feud. But, here we are.
Despite the poor build, Nyla is a great first opponent for Thunder Rosa. She is a heel that AEW likes to cycle in and out of feuds. She is someone that can be slotted into easily. With her size and power, she is a great obstacle to put in front of scrappy babyfaces.
The match itself did not disappoint. It got off to a great start even before the bell even rang. As always, Thunder Rosa made a grand entrance repping her home state of Texas in a fabulous cowboy-inspired ring attire (which I am sure you will see in next week’s Turnbuckle Glam)
There was a strong back and forth throughout the match as Rosa tried to outmaneuver her much stronger and bigger opponent. The champ hit the move of the night as a fantastic sequence led into a beautiful code red. Both women took some serious bumps. With Nyla hit, missing a top rope senton onto the ring apron.
The match had a lot of momentum that petered out after some slight miscommunication. Luckily the women recovered and regained the crowd as they went into the finish. The match ended abruptly with Rosa sneaking a victory with a last-ditch roll-up to retain her AEW Women’s Championship.
As abrupt as the ending was, from a story perspective, it made sense. It is the old tale of a crafty champion managing to eke out a win over a bigger opponent. The result keeps Nyla strong, Rosa gets a W, and there is certainly room for a rematch in the coming weeks.
But is this the right way to go for the first title defense of Thunder Rosa? Typically you would want your babyface champion’s first title defense to end in a clean win. Something to help cement them as a champion and get the ball rolling. You want to have some declarative wins under their belt before the close calls start creeding in.
However, this does keep Nyla Rose looking strong. Which is long overdue. Since partnering with Vickie Guerrero, Nyla has lost some of her star power. With Vickie being written out of the match, Nyla walked down the ramp alone. The entire match served as a reminder of what Nyla is capable of. It is easy to forget that some of Nyla’s best moments in AEW came before she was partnered with Vickie Gurrero.
So Rosa’s title reign isn’t off to the most definitive start. However, if this leads to more matches and TV time for Nyla, it is all good with me.
But what did you think of Battle of the Belts II? Is it too early to be criticizing Thunder Rosa’s title run? Let us know. We love hearing from you.