JBL not in a good mood during the Battleground Pre-show, as Adam Rose earns a win over Fandango as the Party Train led by Summer Rae and Layla dancing all around the ring, distracting the dancing fool. The only reason I can watch Adam Rose is hearing how much JBL hates the gimmick.
Love the pre-show panel. Renee Young with Booker T, Christian, and Alex Riley. This is bad comedy.
The second pre-show match, features Cameron vs. Naomi. The entrance video for Cameron is showing her bored. Yeah. Naomi keeps the “Funkadactyl” theme. Joy. Awkward match with Cameron netting the win with a tights-pulling roll-up. Meh.
Show opens with The Usos defending the WWE Tag Team Championships against Luke Harper and Erick Rowan, in a Best-2-out-of-3 Falls match. The first two falls happened rather quickly, Harper earning the first and Jey Uso the second. The match totaled a near-30-minute contest which was incredible during the third round. Both teams broke out some unbelievable moves and spots which had the Tampa crowd on their feet. There were numerous near-falls, and a gorgeous moment where Jimmy Uso nailed the splash on Rowan, who kicked out at two. The facial expression on Jimmy was priceless. That is what makes these matches great, their body language and expressions. Harper is creepy, and he really can get the crowd riled up. When his eyes go wide you know something is happening. Tonight, we got two through the rope dives from the big man. At one point he countered an Uso kick with a standing superkick of his own. At a pivotal moment, Rowan superplexed both Jimmy and Jey Uso off the top turnbuckle. Harper clobbered Jimmy with his roaring discuss lariat, but no pinfall win. The end finally came when both Usos leapt off the top with a double Superfly Splash for the pin and win to retain the titles.
This might have been match of the night. Just close the show now.
Backstage, Seth Rollins is being interviewed until Dean Ambrose beats the snot out of him. Triple H arrives with security to have the Lunatic Fringe tossed from the building. So… match not happening?
AJ Lee retains the Divas Championship against Paige in a pretty good match. We are not talking Trish Stratus versus Lita quality, but they put on a good show. Paige countered the Black Widow submission with the Paige Turner, but AJ struck back with a Shining Wizard for the win. Good match.
Backstage: Randy Orton tries apologizing to Kane, but the Big Red Machine doesn’t care. He wants the title. Orton is not happy.
Lana and Rusev come out, and if there was any doubts WWE was going to tame the political gimmick, those doubts were destroyed as Lana spewed some vile venomous hate towards America and brought up “current events” as a reason why all other countries want to wipe the U.S. off the map. Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger entered, but before any words could be exchanged, Rusev charged Swagger and Lana slapped Colter. Huge “We the People” chants throughout the match. Ever thought you would hear that again? Swagger was beaten from one end of the ring to the other, and when he finally got on a roll, the crowd roared for the Real American. Swagger locked in the Patriot Lock, but Rusev managed to get to the ropes. Action going to floor, and Swagger put the ankle lock again, but Rusev powered out, sending Swagger into the ringpost, and appearing to have knocked him out cold. Rusev gets the count-out victory, rolling in at the count of 9. Post match, Rusev snaps on the Accolade to add insult to injury. Looks like this feud will move onward to SummerSlam.
The Dusts are off their rockers, talking about the linear cosmos and radiant burning of stars and really freaky stuff man… I love it. The crazy is strong with them.
Seth Rollins comes to the ring to be awarded his forfeit victory, but is ambushed by Dean Ambrose. They brawl all over the arena, until Triple H arrives and sends Bill Demott, Jamie Noble, Mike Rotunda, Fit Finlay, Joey Mercury, and Dean Malenko to drag Ambrose out. My guess is Seth Rollins is injured and they needed to keep him healthy. We will just have to wait for SummerSlam.
In a war of both words and violence, Bray Wyatt and Chris Jericho took each other to near-limits. Bray adding a huge creepy factor to the match. Jericho had control early on, but Bray took over and dominated the majority of it. Noticed a huge shiner on his eye mid-match. One minor screw up during a counter, but Bray held tough and busted some ribs with a big gut-buster. Both men countered their signature movies, Lionsault was thwarted, Bray’s senton blocked, and mid-match Harper and Rowan were ejected from ringside due to interference. The real shocker was Jericho cracking Bray with a surprise Codebreaker for the clean victory.
I am very surprised Bray lost. When was the last time he claimed victory? I don’t mean a match on RAW or SmackDown, I mean a marquee feud match? He had one win over Cena due to child endangerment, but overall, when was the last time Bray had a major win at a pay-per-view event? This is getting worrisome for the future of the Wyatt Family.
Seth Rollins is leaving the building and tells his security detail to go away. He then gets all scared and wanders around the parking lot. Suddenly, Dean Ambrose pops out of the trunk of a parked car and the brawl continues until Rollins gets into the car Ambrose was hiding in and drives away.
Little difficult to run through the entire Battle Royal for the vacant Intercontinental Championship, some oddball occurrences such as Khali being there and Damien Sandow dressed up as an old geezer. Titus O’Neal had a good showing, along with Ziggler, Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus, Cesaro, and Big E. Langston.
Here are some highlights:
Xavier Woods eliminated first
Heath Slater eliminates Cesaro
Bo Dallas eliminates Titus O’Neal
Kofi Kingston being saved from elimination by landing on the shoulders of Big E.
Ziggler and Sheamus beat the hell out of each other until Ziggler countered and lobbed the Celtic Warrior over the top rope, except everyone forgot about The Miz who was hiding around ringside. Miz rushed in a dumped Ziggles to win the match and the title. So, does this mean Wade Barrett makes full-fledged face turn upon his return?
Good match, certainly setting up some low-tier feuds (Cesaro/Slater??) but was a bit tarnished by the obvious plotting by Miz.
You know how great the main event was? The live crowd in Tampa spent most of the match chanting for Daniel Bryan. Kane turned on Orton early on, duh. Teaser between Roman Reigns and John Cena. Nice spot with a four-man Tower of Doom which Orton took the brunt of. I am impressed. Orton is Mr. Boring lately, nice to see him actually take a big move. Kane took part of the fall, but sat up and wound up being double teamed. Lame Orton spot by DDT-ing both Cena and Reigns. Big shock during the match Orton and Reigns trading blows, suddenly Orton does his best Lance Storm impersonation and catches Reigns in a rolling half-crab. Suddenly Orton has both a crab and the STF locked on. Cena clears house with an Attitude Adjustment to Kane, and then again slapping the STF on Orton. Bored yet? Crowd felt that way. Finally, Reigns and Cena traded blows, and the live crowd cheered for Reigns, booing Cena. In a real awesome moment, Reigns countered the Five-Knuckle Shuffle with the Superman Punch, and then leveled him with the Spear. The pinfall was broken up by Kane. Action picked up further when Reigns plowed Orton through the crowd barrier with a spear. Crowd then chants “This is Awesome.” Notice how the crowd suddenly changes tune when the right man is in control? The whole match was a dud, and once Reigns turned it up, the match actually became watchable. After more pinfall breakups and a suspenseful tease of Orton winning, it was the combination of Reigns spearing Kane, eating an RKO, but then Cena tossing Orton onto Kane with the AA and Cena pinning Kane for the title retaining pinfall.
Shockingly, no CM Punk chants tonight. Guess the fans finally let it sink in. I am fine with Cena winning. This confirms Cena will likely face off against Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam while Orton, Kane, and Reigns will likely have a number one contender’s match. Overall, very solid pay-per-view, and as predicted, the undercard easily outclassed the main event. Not saying the main event was not good, but everything else was better. Tomorrow night on RAW will immediately see the build for SummerSlam, and I anticipate the main event will be announced tomorrow night.
Adam Rose def. Fandango
Cameron def. Naomi
Usos def. Harper & Rowan, retaining the WWE Tag Team Championships
Rollins def. Ambrose by forfeit
AJ lee def. Paige, retaining the Divas Title
Rusev def. Swagger via Count Out
Jerich def. Bray Wyatt
The Miz won the Battle Royal for the Vacant Intercontinental Championship
John Cena def. Kane, Orton, & Reigns to retain the WWE Championship