Kris Statlander Retains TBS Title and Willow Nightingale Teases Heel Turn at AEW Battle of the Belts VIII

AEW Battle of the Belts VIII featured a number of big Title matches, including a battle for the TBS Championship. Kris Statlander has been on a hot streak since winning the Title, and her next challenge was none other than Willow Nightingale. The match was all about power, with both stars hitting a myriad of power slams, powerbombs, cannonballs, and more. Statlander would seal the win with a 450 splash, retaining her TBS Championship, and was then confronted by Sky Blue. Nightingale also showed a level of aggressiveness throughout the match that she hasn’t in times past, and the signs of a heel turn are definitely there, especially with Sky Blue also trying to sway Nightingale from shaking Statlander’s hand after the match.

To start the match, Statlander and Nightingale locked up and Statlander gained the advantage first, but Nightingale then slammed the Champion down. Statlander didn’t stay down for long, and Statlander was able to knock down the challenger to the mat. Statlander evaded a charge from Nightingale and was able to lower the rope and knock the challenger to the mat before knocking her out of the ring. Statlander pulled off a daring maneuver from the ring apron, and that’s when Nightingale charged ahead.

Willow threw Statlander across the floor, and then she set up Statlander against the steel steps and connected with a cannonball, smashing the Champion against the steps and doing major damage. Nightingale rolled Statlander into the ring and hit a series of headbutts before going for a cover, but Statlander kicked out.

Nightingale exchanged strikes with Statlander before picking up the Champ and hitting her with a power slam. Nightingale taunted a bit but Statlander hit a power slam of her own. Nightingale picked up Statlander and hit another power slam, and then she hit another one. Statlander came right back and hit a power slam on Nightingale, but Nightingale was back on her feet in record time, and she hit Statlander with yet another power slam.

Statlander knocked the challenger to the mat hard and then countered a power slam attempt by Nightingale, and that led to both stars connecting with kicks, knocking each other down. Back from a break, both stars were exchanging strikes but Nightingale then heaved Statlander to the opposite side of the ring. Nightingale hit several lariats in the corner but then Statlander knocked her down with a leg sweep. Statlander hit an uppercut and then a big running knee into a Blue Thunder Bomb. Statlander went for the pin, but Nightingale kicked out.

Statlander tried to lift Nightingale but she couldn’t lift her. Nightingale then knocked Statlander off her feet and lifted the Champion. Statlander reversed with a DDT into a cover, but Nightingale kicked out. Statlander dragged Nightingale to the corner and went up top, but Nightingale got to her feet. Nightingale met her up top and put the Champ on her shoulders and slammed her down to the mat with a Blue Valley Driver. Nightingale finally covered Statlander but it took too long and Statlander kicked out.

Nightingale choked Statlander and shoved her into the corner turnbuckle. Nightingale hit a cannonball again and then went up top. Statlander got up and hit a powerbomb. Statlander went up top and then hit the 450 into a cover, and that was what she needed for the pin and the win. Statlander is still the TBS Champion.