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When I was in high school, my friend, who isn’t a wrestling fan, asked me why wrestlers have belts when they don’t wear pants?”

These are the hard-hitting questions.

Wrestling belts are waist-worn trophies that declare you are the champion of your division. “She has the belt, so she must be the best!” is what we’re supposed to think when we watch wrestling. Vince Russo also once described them as “just props,” which isn’t entirely untrue. 

While they always are, belts were extra prominent this weekend. On SmackDown, WWE Champion Brock Lesnar and Universal Champion Roman Reigns faced off and teased a champion vs champion match. All Elite Wrestling held their first-ever Battle of the Belts as well as the Friday night Rampage episode. There was also a nice little episode of New Japan Strong.

  • Should WWE unify the Universal and WWE titles?

Yes, yes, one thousand times yes. Having two world championships has always made the secondary one feel like a consolation prize. The Universal title has been fun, there were some good champions, but it’s time to fold its history into the WWE title like what happened with the World Heavyweight Championship. 

With WrestleMania XXXVIII being a stupendous two-night extravaganza, they could do what New Japan did with the double gold at Wrestle Kingdom in 2020. Night one could have both champions defending in separate title matches where the winners meet on night two in the unification bout. Night one could have Lesnar vs Finn Bálor and Reigns vs Big E (who should win the Royal Rumble), then Reigns beats Lesnar on night two. 

It’s wishful thinking but I hope it’d set a precedent for the women’s world titles and the men’s tag titles to be unified as well. Traveling champions is best for business. 2

  • Was Dustin Rhodes vs Sammy Guevara the right interim TNT title match?

Cody Rhodes was scheduled to defend the TNT Championship against Guevara but it was Dustin Rhodes who took his brother’s place to compete for an Interim TNT title. While it was a very good match, I don’t know why either Scorpio Sky or Ethan Page stepped up, given their involvement in the title picture. I do appreciate that they are doing the Interim title thing, but they should’ve at least gotten a heel to wrestle Sammy. 

The silver lining here is that Daniel Garcia will wrestle Guevara on Dynamite after shooting an angle right after the finish. I’d love it if AEW zagged here and had Garcia win the interim belt off Guevara. 

  • Why was Jake Atlas booked to lose his AEW television debut?

This isn’t a question I can’t answer. Very seldom should match-quality be prioritized over star-making. Atlas is another wrestler under the age of 30 with incredible upside, but when he shows up and loses to Adam Cole he just kinda feels like another dude on the roster. It would’ve even been better to go to a 20-minute draw. 

AEW wanted to accomplish two things here: showcasing Atlas and giving Cole a win on television, as it seems like Page vs Cole is the direction. I just don’t think we had to do both in the one match. Atlas could’ve beaten some stooge on Dynamite, Cole could’ve beaten someone like Trent Beretta on Rampage. 

  • What was the match of the weekend?

For me, Eddie Kingston and Gabriel Kidd stole the weekend. You had the All Japan King’s Road-influenced Kingston mixing it up with the Shibata-student in Kidd, a Strong Style wrestler himself. These two just absolutely got after it on this show. Kingston’s mouth was busted up and Kidd’s chest looked like mincemeat. I’m yet to be let down by an LA Dojo graduate. Kingston got the win with the spinning back fist after an incredibly hard-hitting main event. This was fantastic.

I hope we see Eddie Kingston in the next G1 Climax Tournament. I want to see this guy in there with Tomohiro Ishii and Hiroshi Tanahashi. I’d even love to see Kingston and Jon Moxley in the World Tag League because that tournament needs some juice.

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