WWE Battleground 2017: Punjabi Prisons, American Flags & A Big Return

Written by Tommy Tracy

Review: WWE Battleground 2017

 

Pre-Show Match: Aiden English vs. Tye Dillinger

-English is a legit heel, getting boos from each and everything he sings. Sad thing is, he’s actually really good at it.

-Tye is incredibly over…too bad Vince can’t see it.

-English signing in the ring while he has Tye in a headlock is fantastic and something new we’ve never seen before.

-These two put on a good match, full of turns and near falls. Surprisingly, English won and I think that’s a good turn for his future. Sadly, the crowd was dead for anything English did.

Grade: B+

Tag Team Champions The Usos vs. The New Day

-Apparently The Usos were expecting Big E. to be in this match. I don’t think they ever stated that on SmackDown!

-The Usos are touting their penitentiary but are they co-wardens or prisoners? Wouldn’t prisoners make more sense.

-Jimmy and Jey are incredibly savage in this match, focusing on Woods head specifically.

-The Usos catch Kofi mid-Trust Fall and Powerbomb him on the outside.

-Woods hits an incredible Victory Roll Bomb and almost regains the tag titles.

-Woods kick out of the Double Samoan Drop.

-Jimmy catches Woods with a Superkick as he comes off the top rope and still kicks out, getting a “This is Awesome” from the crowd and a “Holy Crap” from me.

-Not to be outdone, Jimmy Uso kicks out of the Midnight Hour.

-With the surprise win, The New Day win the belts as Woods hits an elbow HALFWAY ACROSS THE RING. Don’t you dare be sour!

Grade: A

Baron Corbin vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

-Is the crowd tired of singing Nakamura’s song? It’s a Philly crowd, I expected better.

-Crowd starts a Corbin Sucks chant, in which he responds, “I’m doing pretty well!”

-Many would say this match is slow but these two are executing excellent ring psychology with Corbin dominating at first.

-Nakamura kicks the living crap out of Corbin for about a minute straight. I do not envy Corbin.

-Corbin turns the Kinshasa into a Deep Six.

-Both guys look like they’re in tons of pain and I’m not so sure that’s selling going on.

-So the match ends abruptly with a low blow from Corbin, giving Nakamura the DQ win. Good match but not the show stealer I was hoping for. Hopefully a SummerSlam rematch gives us a bit more.

Grade: C+

Fatal Five-Way Elimination Match: Tamina Snuka vs. Natalya Niedhart vs. Becky Lynch vs. Lana vs. Charlotte Flair

-I’m annoyed with this pre-match package. Natalya, you are the daughter of Jim Niedhart, not Bret Hart. I understand that Bret is more famous and, quite frankly, a better wrestler, but you are not wrestling royalty and quit acting as if your uncle is what made you. Okay, pre-match rant over.

-Naomi may have the coolest entrance right now aside from Demon Finn.

-Lana receives the pop of the night with her killer theme and attitude.

-Tamina and Lana gang up on the rest of the women but does Tamina take the fall for Lana to win? These are questions we need answered that WWE Creative probably won’t answer.

-Lana straight up misses a kick to Flair’s face. She’s amazing on the mic but she still needs ring work.

-Lana stupidly breaks up a Sharpshooter and almost gets eliminated by Lynch.

-Tamina Spears Charlotte through the ropes and lands straight on her dome.

-Lynch locks in the Dis-Arm-Her on Tamina and eliminates her and then quickly does the same to Lana.

-Natalya rolls up Becky and holds her tights for the three count. I’ve noticed when they do these rapid-fire eliminations, it gets really sloppy and is a detriment to the match.

-Charlotte shows pure strength by dead lifting her off the ground and nailing her with a Powerbomb.

-Another piss poor ending as Natalya does pretty much nothing and eliminates Charlotte. Can’t wait to hear her garbage promos about how this is all for her Father Bret. Oh, I meant Uncle. Sorry, silly me.

-I don’t know if it was the sloppy ending, the dead crowd or Naomi’s terrible commentary but this match just didn’t click for me fully. It had moments but wasn’t a sound match. Maybe James Ellsworth really was needed? What am I saying?

-Also, why Natalya? She has a lot of talent but she NEVER wins the big one. She’s like the female Dolph Ziggler. Just a disappointment.

Grade: C

United States Champion A.J. Styles vs. Kevin Owens (aka Potential Match of the Night)

-Dear Philadelphia: YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE ONE OF THE BEST CROWDS IN THE US! Show some damn energy!

-Kevin Owens is the best trash talker in the WWE today. Miz is great but KO does it in the ring like no one else.

-Owens hits a hell of a DDT on Styles, bouncing his head about a foot off the mat.

-AJ hits the Fireman’s Carry Neckbreaker, the best move in WWE today.

-Owens dodges a Phenomenal Forearm and drops Styles on his shoulder. KO then begins to key in on the arm like a predator.

-Owens counters a Springboard 450 with his knees. How the hell does that not wreck your insides?

-Owens counters the Styles Clash but tossing Styles into the referee, knocking him out.

-The two men counter duel Crossface’s until Owens slowly rolls up Styles for the 3 and winning his third United States title.

-The match was awesome but like most of these matches this year, the endings have been terrible. I blame the bi-weekly PPV’s for this lack of creativity. During the first brand split, the brands would share the Big 4 and then alternate PPV’s each month. They need to go back to this. When AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens is anything less than an A+, you’re doing something wrong.

Grade: B (that ending took a lot out of it)

Flag Match: Rusev vs. John Cena

-So, I like Rusev. And I like John Cena. But I have zero interest in a match that should take place in 1986. This concept sucked then, it sucked when Bret Hart fought The Patriot and it’ll suck now.

-I do not envy the guy who has to climb up the turnbuckle and place the flag in the slot. Once slip and hello, floor!

-I love the “John Cena Sucks” chants during Cena’s entrance. It reminds me of Kurt Angle’s and when he’s ready to retire it’ll be a form of flattery.

-Why are the announcers acting like Cena losing means America will crumble? What does it do for Bulgaria if Rusev loses? They never think about the opposing country. It’s the classic “foreign heel” trope that, AGAIN, doesn’t work today. Rusev is just an evil foreigner because he’s foreign.

-Maybe everyone ate some sloppy joes before this event but man, what is with the work ethic tonight. Even Cena is half-assing it. His moves were lazy and he and Rusev just seemed tired. No move is clicking, the emotion isn’t there and neither man seems to really give a crap.

-Rusev grabs his flag and I get excited thinking this dumpster fire is over but then remember the BRAND-NEW RULE stating they have to take their flag to the ramp and place it.

-My mind begins to race and I start to book for myself. If Rusev just snaps the American flag in half, Cena can’t place it in the stand, can he? Also, if these flags are so damn important, how come they flags can just lay on the ground as if they’re garbage? This match makes NO SENSE!

-Rusev sets up two tables. I wonder who is going to get an Attitude Adjustment through those.

-My WWE Network cut out and came back on just as LOL Cena wins. Ya know, maybe it would be good for the US to lose every once in a while.

Grade: D-

The Fashion Files

-Thank God, the best thing on WWE TV, The Fashion Files. And they kill it as they make a crack at TV series finales and how big of a letdown they are. I love these guys. And we still don’t have an answer so these vignettes continue.

Sami Zayn vs. Mike Kanellis w/Maria Kanellis

-I can’t tell if this “Power of Love” gimmick is good for these two or terrible.

-Kanellis’ tights are the love child of Bad Ass Billy Gunn’s and Rick Rude’s.

-I think JBL just asked for Mike and Maria’s honeymoon tape.

-If you’re wondering why I’m not commenting on the match, it’s because the match like most of the PPV, is boring as hell. At least Sami won a damn match, finally!

-The best part of the match was when Kanellis bent his knee, the image of Maria on his tights looked pregnant.

Grade: D

Punjabi Prison Match: WWE Champion Jinder Mahal vs. Randy Orton

-I was never a fan of this match but when you have two good wrestlers in it and not The Great Khali, I’m actually intrigued.

-Jinder is doing great things as the WWE ambassador for India. I applaud the WWE on shooting him to the top.

-Another boring match on this boring PPV. You can’t see how dangerous this structure is when nothing is happening in it.

-Orton hits a really nice RKO as the Bollywood Boyz (I refuse to call them their other name) appear from under the ring and save Jinder as the last door closes.

-In the true highlight of the night, Samir climbs through the cell and gets hit off by Orton from about fifteen feet, flying through the announce table.

-Jinder’s music hits and WOW! The Great Khali comes out and shakes Orton off the Prison to help Jinder retain. But why? Who wants The Great Khali back? I mean, it was surprising but still, he’s one of the worst wrestlers of all time.

Grade: C (that bump though!)

WWE Battleground was 100% filler, relying more on moments than wrestling. The rapid fire PPV’s we’re getting are hurting the product and they need to be stopped.

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