AEW had been hyping up a big match for its “Battle of the Belts” special tonight (Sat., Jan. 8, 2022) in North Carolina, with Cody Rhodes set to defend the TNT championship against Sammy Guevara. That all changed just last night, when it was announced that Rhodes is not medically cleared to compete as he is in quarantine with his family dealing with COVID-19.
Instead of scrapping the match altogether, AEW revealed an interim championship would be created and Guevara would instead wrestle Dustin Rhodes for said title. Eventually, whenever it’s possible and makes sense for them to do so, they will merge the titles once more.
The match was fairly slow for much of it, with a heavy focus on psychology. Guevara hurt his knee early and Rhodes focused his offense on it:
Of course, Guevara was still flying around a bit anyway.
Like this attempt, which resulted in an incredible Cross Rhodes:
Late in the match, Fuego Del Sol showed up to set up a table for Sammy on the outside. Naturally, Rhodes hit a Canadian Destroyer off the apron through that table shortly after.
Despite that, they went back-and-forth to close it out, trading pinfall reversals until it was Guevara who came out on top to score the three count.
David Crockett hit the ring to present Guevara with the interim TNT title before Rhodes shook his hand and gave him a hug on the way out.
Daniel Garcia showed up next, and a brawl broke out in the ring. Next up? We shall see.
Get complete “Battle of the Belts” results and coverage of the entire show right here.