WWE Battleground had a couple of surprises tonight. First off, Breezango defeat the Usos in an entertaining match. I actually enjoyed it. The kickoff featured some promo packages, interviews with Foley, Daniel Byran, and some intense words coming from Cesaro, portraying himself as a serious “no more BS” style wrestler.
I like it.
The show kicks off with Charlotte and Dana Brooke against Sasha Banks and her surprise partner… BAYLEY! The crowd eruption was fantastic and the crowd chants were very touching and Bayley certainly appreciated it. What we appreciated, seeing Banks and Bayley get the win over the antagonists. Plus, a Hug it out as a post-match victory.
Does this mean Bayley is up on the main roster, or just a tease?
Up next, we enter the creepy zone. The New Day take on The Wyatt Family. This was a great match, and it was clear Xavier played the fear card very well. Every time he got in the ring, he froze. The guy is a great actor. Kofi and Big E. picked up the slack, but the Wyatts proved too much. The match took a scary turn as Big E. went for the running spear through the ropes, either got stuck or Braun Strowman was just too big for the move to flow, and Big E. landed badly on the arena floor. Xavier attempted a comeback, but Bray’s aura of fear was too much, and Xavier fell prey to the Sister Abigail.
I really don’t understand why Braun Strowman got separated from the Wyatts. He’s gonna flop.
Our first championship bout of the evening, features a tale of hope, of promise, a story of wishful belief and wonder… and ultimately, the defeat and crushing of dreams as Rusev retains the United States Championship against Zack Ryder. This was a good fairy tale story match, multiple times we believed it was possible for Ryder to win. But alas, it was not to be despite Ryder dressing up in some amalgamation of 80’s Sting, The Ultimate Warrior, Macho Man, The All American Lex Luger, The Patriot, and I’m sure there is a small part of Hacksaw Jim Duggan in there.
Post match, Mojo Rawley came out to save his Hype Brother. Aw no. Please, no.
Backstage: Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley chat with Seth Rollins, who needs no praise, since he is already full of himself. I like where this is going. Until Rollins promises that in nine months, there will be a lot of babies named Rollins… Uh, that’s just weird.
I have no words to describe Sami Zayn defeating Kevin Owens. This was match of the century. Match of the millennium. We have seen a ton of matches, and this was the ultimate bout. Despite some scary moments and a near death botch by Zayn, we saw multiple cannonballs, a pop-up powerbomb, multiple exploder-turnbuckle suplexes, at least four Dragon Suplexes, a DDT, some very high risk moves, and more kick outs than I have ever counted.
Go spend the $9.99, and just watch this match. You will thank me.
Natalya defeated Becky Lynch in our “let’s cool the fans down” match because after Zayn and Owens tore down the house, there is just no way we can watch the rest of the show thinking we are getting another match-of-the-eternity. Good match, a bit slow at times, but Natalya was finally given a decent win, despite being hated by fans now. Sigh.
Backstage: Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan try to pump up Dean Ambrose and lay some pressure on him to retain the championship tonight. Ambrose enjoys the compliments given to his jacket and ring attire, and promise to bring the WWE Championship to SmackDown.
The Miz and Darren Young go to either a double-DQ or double count-out, or maybe the match was just thrown out after Bob Backlund and Maryse get into it, causing Darren Young to snap and lock Miz in the Crossface Chicken Wing circa Backlund 1995. Oy vey. This angle is not going well.
Maybe I was just too confused at the bizarre ring attire worn by Miz and Maryse. I really do not need to see what they wear in the bedroom. I really don’t.
Our next match features Enzo Amore cutting a hysterically long mic-fest promo, which leaves John Cena in stunned silence and even Big Cass interjects with a “that was beautiful” comment. Enzo is a verbal genius. I would love to see him and Paul Heyman exchange. Again, just buy the WWE Network to see this promo. I was dying. Big Cass was also funny. These guys are insanely over. The match pitting Enzo, Cass, and Cena against AJ Styles, Karl Anderson, and Luke Gallows was solid and well-paced. I must be losing my edge a bit, as my predictions for tag matches are pretty off tonight, as Cena, Enzo, and Cass pick up a win over The Club. I was glad to see them win, but not happy to see Cena be the one to pin AJ Styles. I would have been happy to see Enzo or Cass pin Karl or Gallows since they are deserving of the push.
The next segment featured Chris Jericho having Randy Orton on the Highlight Reel. This breaks down (no pun intended) into a verbal exchange where they just don’t like each other and hate each other, blah blah blah, but then they get it wrong by saying Orton has never faced Lesnar. At least Orton acknowledges he will get taken to Suplex city, and for some odd reason threatens Jericho to beat him up “no enhancements needed” perhaps in regards to Lesnar’s recent drug test failures or Roman Reigns. Who knows. Who cares. Inevitably, Jericho calls Orton a “stupid idiot” on behalf of Brock Lesnar. Eventually Orton does level with a very much predicted RKO, which Michael Cole has to say “outta nowhere” and once again reinforces Randy Orton vs. Brock Lesnar is 15 years in the making. Wonderful revisionist history there…
Battleground Main Event: WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match
Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose ©
The obvious start, features Roman Reign being booed mercilessly. But we knew that would happen. Prior to this, each roster was shown backstage watching, and the bosses of both RAW and SmackDown are out at ringside as JoJo makes the championship introductions. You can’t hear her over the booing when it is Reigns turn. I will also point out, this main event is starting five minutes to 11 o’clock. The match starts with everyone attempting some sort of rolling pin, then each time Ambrose or Rollins attempt a move, Reigns counters, and the crowd shouts their displeasure. Overall, this was a solid match. Of course at times the action slowed down, but there were a number of exchanges involving all three trading off, a Rollins Frog Splash from nowhere, and numerous near-falls following finishing moves. Great moments between Ambrose and Rollins, the crowd lit up when they powerbombed Reigns through an announce table. The great finish came, after Reigns clocks Rollins with the Superman Punch and Spear, but is then intercepted by Ambrose who spikes him with the Dirty Deeds for the three count victory. Wow.
They are really pushing SmackDown hard. I cannot believe it, but damn am I happy to see Dean Ambrose keep the championship, and doing it clean.
So here is a funny post-show thought… Notice how it was Jimmy and Jey Uso who were holding Dean Ambrose up on their shoulders during the celebration? At any point did they think… “Oops… So much for continuity.”