4 Ups & 2 Downs From AEW Battle Of The Belts III

Jay Lethal lays down a marker; ROH puts on a masterclass; Wardlow goes through a table.

AEW Fans

Behold the image of pro wrestling fans really enjoying pro wrestling.

That screenshot was captured during a stellar main event between Claudio Castagnoli and breakout star Konosuke Takeshita at AEW's Battle Of The Belts III. It's genuinely wonderful to report that the live crowd gave both men a standing ovation just two minutes into their ROH World Championship match.

Their adulation was one of the hour-long show's biggest highlights, but not everything was perfect. For every technical masterclass or robust TNT Title showdown elsewhere, there was a nagging sense of apathy from Tony Khan towards this network-mandated broadcast. That's hard to shake when tuning into BOTB.

The only other problem was Toni Storm. Just what is her purpose in AEW, and why is she playing second string to literally everybody else? Thankfully (and typically), in-ring action carried the night, and not even those 'Downs' could stop this card from being a fun watch.

Khan might need to give BOTB IV some more oomph, but he can sleep soundly knowing that he has workers like Claudio on his books. The same goes for rising stars like Wardlow, Jamie Hayter and Takeshita. They've all got seriously bright futures ahead of them.

Here's all the good and bad.


Lifelong wrestling, video game, music and sports obsessive who has been writing about his passions since childhood.