Hello one and all, it’s Rydogg back here again after a few weeks and I’m glad to be back, and today I’m here to review the Battleground pay per view. First off, I just want to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that they had the Raw and Smackdown logos in the minitrons for just about every entrance, and that wrestlers came out with their respective brand’s name plate showing up. I felt like this was a great way to show that they’re taking the brand split seriously. Secondly, this was probably the best PPV that the WWE has put on this year and I will fight anyone who says otherwise! But challenges for a manly game of fisticuffs aside, let’s get into reviewing this event.
Kickoff: Breezango vs. The Usos
We kick off the Battleground event (no pun intended) with a tag team match between two teams who I think will fit in very well on the SmackDown roster, Jimmy and Jey Uso vs. the highly entertaining tag team of Tyler Breeze and Fandango. Given that this match was thrown together at virtually the last second, I found myself thoroughly enjoying this match. There was a lot of back and forth action and there were a number of spots and little nuances that I found myself sitting on the edge of my couch watching. Breezango gets the win after countering the Uso Splash and rolling up for the victory. Again, a really fun way to start the show off and get the crowd pumped for the main card.
Rating: ***1/4 stars
Match #1: Charlotte and Dana Brooke vs. Sasha Banks and ???
The main show starts with the music of the WWE Women’s Champion, Charlotte as she came out with her protege, Dana Brooke. Personally, I was surprised that this match was first cab off the rank. Based on the hype that this match had recieved on social media I thought that it would be later on in the card. Nonetheless, I marked out for Sasha Banks’ tag team partner. And that was….
Match #1: Charlotte and Dana Brooke vs. Sasha Banks and BAYLEY!
The pride of the NXT Women’s Division, Bayley made her main roster debut to help her former NXT rival “The Boss” Sasha Banks.The pop that Bayley got was thunderous, granted that the IWC was saying that it was Bayley ever since the match was announced. Despite that, it was still a nice surprise to see Bayley on a ppv. Charlotte and Dana really played up their heelishness with the distracting the ref and attacking while the ref doesn’t see, and isolating one member of the team. The finish came when Sasha Banks made Charlotte submit to the Bank Statement. After the match Sasha and Bayley celebrated and we got to see a hug between the two former rivals. Surprising that Charlotte submitted, but it can (and probably will) be used to build up a Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte for the Women’s championship match. Which if it’s ANYTHING like their matches in NXT, we’re in for a wild ride.
Match #2: The Wyatt Family vs. The New Day
Up next we have the first of two 6 man tag team matches, the longest reigning W… W… EEEEEE WOOOORRRRLLLLDDDD TAAAGGG TEEAAAMMM CHAMPIOOOOONNNNSSSS!! taking on the now separated Wyatt Family. The build for this match was centered around Xavier Woods’ fear of Bray Wyatt… Which is understandable, because Bray Wyatt is fucking scary! The way this was story was intertwined in this match, well at least to me, was perfect. Especially the moment when Xavier Woods overcame his fear and started attacking Bray Wyatt. There was a really scary moment when Big E speared Braun Strowman off of the apron, but as he was going through the rope, E seemed to catch his legs on the rope and his trajectory seemed to go in a completely different direction causing him to land on his head.The finish was fun to watch with the Wyatt Family going over in their final appearance together. The way Wyatt went from his spider walk to hitting Xavier Woods with Sister Abigail was very well done.
Match #3: United States Championship: Rusev (c) vs. Zack Ryder
We have our first championship match as the ever so dominant United States Champion, the Bulgarian Brute, Rusev defends his championship against the “Long Island Iced Z” Zack Ryder. Ryder came out wearing gear (which he later revealed on Twitter) that was inspired by Ultimate Warrior, Sting and ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage. For our first championship match, I found this match to be a whole lot of fun, it had a lot of back and forth offense. Rusev and Ryder looked super strong in this match and I was left extremely satisfied with the way the match ended and Rusev’s super dominant Accolade causing Ryder to submit. Following the match, Rusev continued his attack on his fallen challenger. Then Mojo Rawley made the save. To be honest, I think that this could have been saved for SmackDown, mainly because Rusev and the Hype Bros are on separate brands.
Match #4: Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn once again provide the match of the night. Everything about this match was absolutely fucking BEAUTIFUL! Even though there looked to be a botch where Sami looked to have hurt his shoulder, and it could be a botch, it could be a work, we don’t really know. Despite that, these two wrestled the best match that they’ve had on WWE soil. Every near fall, every submission, every spot, every instance of Kevin being Kevin and talking smack, all building up to the beautiful moment when Sami vanquished his former best friend turned bitter rival. I cannot say enough to describe just how amazing this was. When Sami and KO made their entrances, I tweeted “Time for the match of the night” and by god I was right!
Match #5: Becky Lynch vs. Natalya
First off, I just wanna say I’m a huge fan of both ladies, especially Becky Lynch, but I gotta ask, why was this match not first? Again, huge fan, but I feel like the women’s tag match had more hype than this match and should have been later in the show. But I digress, going into this match I thought that this match would suffer due to following the amazing spectacle of Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens. I would formally like to retract that statement, because this match was exciting, fast paced and quite fun to watch. The match ends when Becky submits to a sharpshooter from Natalya. Honestly I would have had Becky win that match and have Nattie attack Becky for weeks until Becky challenges her to another match, but that’s just me.
Match #6: Intercontinental Championship: The Miz (c) vs. Darren Young
Up next we have the seemingly never ending reign of the Miz going against Bob Backlund’s plan to ‘Make Darren Young Great Again’. Bob should also look into “making dentistry great again” because I was thrown off by the fact that he was missing a tooth. Backlund’s missing tooth aside, I found the bulk of this match quite entertaining. Except for the finish, that was a fat load of CRAP! All started with Maryse slapping Backlund and faking an injury. I enjoyed Bob Backlund going nuts and trying to rip his shirt off and whatnot, but I don’t understand the fact that it ended with the Crossface Chickenwing on the outside. I don’t get why the referee rang the bell… Has WWE announced what the result was? It was just confusing as fuck.
Rating: **1/2 – would have better if the finish was clearer
Match #7: The Club vs. John Cena, Enzo Amore and Big Cass
Right now, we have yet another match that had an amazing build, with The Club relentlessly harassing and attacking the “Face That Runs The Place” John Cena, the fact that Cena was joined by perhaps the most over tag team in the WWE at this point in time, Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady, was (at least to me) the icing on the cake. The match was there, the story was there, I did actually like how in an interview with Michael Cole, Big Cass admitted that before joining WWE he didn’t like John Cena. Just thought that was a nice little touch for the respect that Cena has backstage. The match also had a just bloody delightful monologue from Enzo Amore, ripping on The Club. The match was absolutely beautiful. Amazing back and forth action between the two teams. It’s noteworthy that Enzo and Cass actually had more ring time than Cena. After a really fun and intriguing match, the finish comes when John Cena pins AJ Styles after an attitude adjustment off of the second rope. Really great way to make AJ look formidable in defeat, having him take a finisher off of the second rope. Again, really fun match and can’t wait for the blow off match at SummerSlam.
The Highlight Reel – Guest: Randy Orton
Just putting this out there, I don’t have an issue with talking segments on PPV, as long as there’s not so many that your head will spin. I know some people do have an issue with these kinds of segments, but I found this particular one entertaining. We had Randy Orton making his return after a 9 month layoff due to injuries. Great to see Randy back on tv, however, despite how much I enjoyed the segment, the only notable things about this were Randy Orton returning to television, he’s got a match against Lesnar, Jericho thinks Orton was dodging Lensar for 14 years, Orton’s little jab at Lesnar’s USADA troubles and the RKO to end the segment.
Main Event: WWE Championship: Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns
HERE. WE. FUCKING. GO! It’s time for the Shield triple threat for the WWE Championship, SmackDown’s #1 pick and defending WWE Champion, Dean Ambrose taking on the #1 overall draft pick, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, who is fresh off of his highly publicised 30 day suspension. Going into this match, I was honestly expecting a screwy finish causing Rollins and Ambrose to be co-champion. I really didn’t want Roman to win, mainly because it would make the wellness policy and the WWE in general look like a complete joke. Nevertheless, this was another match that I was on the edge of my couch for, as the story was there, the hype was there, the big fight atmosphere was there, the crowd wasn’t trying to get themselves over like they have at MULTIPLE events in the past, and above all else, the three former members of the Shield had fucking amazing chemistry! There was so many references to their past, such as Ambrose and Rollins powerbombing Reigns through the announcers table, and Seth Rollins attacking Roman with a chair, just like when he ended the most dominant trio since Evolution. The finish comes after Reigns take out Rollins with a SuperMan Punch and a Spear only to be hit by Dean Ambrose with Dirty Deeds for the pinfall victory as Ambrose Retains. Following the match the entire SmackDown roster pours out from the locker room to congratulate their champion. A delightful way to end a phenomenal show!
Match Of the Night: Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn
MVP Of The Night: Dean Ambrose
Who to watch following this PPV: I’d have to say Breezango
Final Word: This. Was. Awesome! It seems as if WWE are trying their best to undo the travesty that was WrestleMania. And it seems to be working, every PPV has been consistently better than the last, which gives me high hopes for SummerSlam.
Thanks for reading guys. My name’s Rydogg, follow me on Twitter @Rydogg95, follow this site on twitter @WeWriteWrestlin. And above all else, have fun watching wrestling!