|Date: July 24, 2016
|Venue: Verizon Center |City: Washington D.C.
|tweet me: @BastionBlogger
A video package kicks us off with all of the top superstars holding flags. The package then focuses on the main events, the match between New Day and The Wyatt Family and then Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. And then finally The Club, John Cena, Enzo & Big Cass.
Michael Cole welcomes us to Washington, DC for Battleground.
Charlotte and Dana Brooke are out first. They take on Sasha Banks and a mystery partner. There’s a lot of chanting for Bayley and they get their wish!
Sasha Banks & Bayley vs. Charlotte & Dana Brooke
Background: Sasha Banks wants a shot at charlotte and the WWE Women’s Championship but has found herself on the receiving end of double team attacks from Charlotte and Dana Brooke. Sasha was tasked with finding a tag team partner to even the odds and has picked her former friend and rival, Bayley.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time tag team match between these four girls.
Battleground Record: Charlotte is 1-0 at Battleground, Sasha Banks is 0-1, Dana makes her Battleground debut and Bayley makes her pay per view debut tonight.
Match: Charlotte and Dana attack Bayley and Sasha before the bell. Bayley starts the match but soon tags in Sasha Banks who hits a flying head scissors on Charlotte, botching it. The crowd are really hot for Bayley. Hopefully she’s a full time member of the main roster now. Dana tags in and she’s vocal as she often is. Bayley gets a hot tag but falls victim to some double teaming. Charlotte and Dana is such a random pairing. Layfield tells us that Bayley being on the main roster is a one time deal. Sasha gets a hot tag and lays into Charlotte who is undefeated on pay per view. Charlotte looks for the figure four on Sasha but Banks counters and locks on the Banks Statement which Dana breaks up. Sasha hits the backstabber and then locks on the Banks Statement and Charlotte taps out! It’s a first pay per view loss for Charlotte!
Result: Sasha Banks and Bayley win by submission.
Review: This match was decent enough. I think it could have been given more time and it could have been even better. Charlotte tapping out to Sasha Banks puts Banks right in the picture for a title match. And it’s a big iwn for Bayley in her first WWE PPV match.
There’s a video package next for The New Day and The Wyatt Family.
The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) vs. The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan & Braun Strowman) – Six man tag team match
Background: The New Day chose to interrupt The Wyatt Family which would continue to haunt The New Day for weeks. Kofi and Big E would take shots whilst Xavier would just stare, scared stiff. The two groups would then fight at the Wyatt Compound, a fight that The Wyatt Family would win. Now the two groups meet in the ring for the first and only time as The Wyatt Family were split up during the draft last week.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these six men.
Battleground Record: Bray Wyatt is 2-1 at Battleground, Kofi Kingston is 0-3, Big E is 0-2, Xavier Woods is 0-1, Erick Rowan is 0-1 and Braun Strowman makes his Battleground debut tonight.
Match: Braun Strowman starts the match and takes the advantage against Kofi Kingston. Rowan and Wyatt continue to lay into Kofi. Bray Wyatt actually beat Kofi at Battleground 2013. Xavier Woods continues to look scared throughout the match, not wanting to tag in. Kingston is in for a long time before making the hot tag to Big E. Kofi wipes out Strowman at one point with a beautiful dive to the outside. Xavier Woods finally tags in, as does Bray Wyatt. Woods goes down to one knee, looking hypnotised but then goes nuts, hitting Bray with lefts and rights. Big E hits his spear on Strowman off the apron and appears to land head first. Wyatt hits Woods with Sister Abigail which is enough for the three.
Result: The Wyatt Family win by pinfall when Bray Wyatt pins Xavier Woods.
Review: This was a decent enough six man tag. It told a good story, and the action was good. Strowman and Rowan worked well as big guys taking the arial assault from Kofi and Big E. The match had a good pace to it but in the end it’s a successful swan song for the Wyatt Family.
There’s an ad for Swerved on the WWE Network.
Lana introduces the United States Champion and her fiancee, Rusev.
Rusev (c) vs. Zack Ryder – United States Championship match
Background: On Smackdown a few weeks ago Zack Ryder upset Sheamus and then went on to challenge Rusev for the United States Championship. Rusev accepted by attacking Ryder following a rematch with Sheamus on Raw.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time singles match between these two men.
Battleground Record: Rusev is 1-0 at Battleground, Zack Ryder is 0-1.
Match: It’s unusual to see Zack Ryder in a singles match on pay per view. Rusev takes the advantage in the early going but doesn’t keep it for long. Ryder out-smarts Rusev but then gets swatted away when he attempts a missile dropkick. Rusev has been drafted to Raw whilst Zack Ryder has been drafted to Smackdown. Rusev hits a spinning heel kick for a two count. Rusev blocks the bro-ski boot but Ryder then nicely counters a suplex with a neckbreaker. Rusev looks for a shoulder charge into Ryder who is laying over the barricade but Zack moves and then hits a missile dropkick. Ryder then hits the Rough-Ryder and then looks for the el-bro drop but Rusev gets his knees up. Rusev hits a kick to the back of the head and then locks on the accolade for the victory.
Result: Rusev wins by submission.
Review: This match was ok. This could have been a match on Raw to be honest. It’s nice to see Ryder in a singles match on pay per view but he’s been buried so much over the past few years that you knew he didn’t stand a chance. Rusev is a solid United States Champion and he now takes the title to Raw.
After the match Rusev looks to continue the beating but Ryder’s tag team partner from NXT, Mojo Rawley runs out to make the save!
Seth Rollins is backstage with Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley who are hoping that Seth brings the WWE Championship to Raw.
There’s a video package next showing the history between Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.
Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
Background: This is a feud that has raged on since Kevin Owens attacks Sami Zayn in NXT. The two men have cost each other big matches including The Royal Rumble match, Intercontinental Championship ladder match at Wrestlemania and Money In The Bank ladder match. Sami has challenged Kevin Owens to one final match to end it all for tonight.
Previous PPV matches: These two men previously fought at Payback 2016 and Kevin Owens won that match.
Battleground Record: Kevin Owens is 0-1 at Battleground, Sami Zayn wrestles at Battleground for the first time tonight.
Match: Sami Zayn attempts a helluva kick right out of the gate but Owens is already out of the ring. The fight then starts outside the ring where they whip each other into barricades. Owens crotches Zayn on the top rope and then hits him with a bowling ball for a two count. Both of these men have been drafted to Raw but KO wasn’t happy with how late on he was drafted. Owens dominates for a while, slowing the match down for a while with a chinlock. Zayn hits a clothesline and a Michinoku Driver as he starts to mount a comeback. Zayn looks to hit an asai moonsault to the outside but completely botches it. Zayn has been selling his right arm since the moonsault botch. He hits an exploder suplex into the corner and then looks for the helluva kick but Owens slides out of the ring. Zayn hits a brainbuster on the ring apron. You don’t see many brainbusters these days. Both men slowly get to their feet and slug it out.
Zayn looks for a tornado DDT but Owens hits a superkick and then a bowling ball. KO hits a frog splash for a near fall. Zayn hits two dragon suplexes for a near fall. The crowd give a standing ovation. Zayn looks for a helluva kick but Owens hits a pop-up powerbomb! He hooks the leg but Zayn just about gets his foot on the bottom rope. Dubious. Zayn hits an exploder suplex into the corner, a tiger suplex and then finally hits the helluva kick! Zayn props Owens up and hits another helluva kick before pinning his former best friend for the 3!
Result: Sami Zayn wins by pinfall.
Review: This was a fantastic match. You could feel that both men genuinely thought it was their last match and put their all into it. Sami Zayn gets the win in a classic fairytale ending. They were given a lot of time and it was well worth it. The psychology was spot on. A great match and a fitting end to their rivalry.
Over to the kick-off panel made up of Renee Young, Corey Graves, Booker T and Jerry “The King” Lawler. Corey had a tear in his eye when Bayley was in action, Lawler is looking forward to the main event whilst Booker T was rooting for Zack Ryder earlier.
We’re shown the ending to the match on the kick-off show with Breezango defeating The Usos.
Becky Lynch vs. Natalya
Background: This rivalry started when Natalya turned heel after a tag team loss against Charlotte and Dana Brooke. Natalya attacked Becky and since then Lynch has looked for revenge.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time singles PPV match between these two girls.
Battleground Record: Both girls make their Battleground debut tonight.
Match: Natalya takes the early lead but Becky soon fires back. Natalya plays the cowardly heel in this one, constantly running away and getting cheap shots in. Both girls looks for submissions throughout this match. Natalya manages to lock the sharpshooter on but Becky breaks it up and hits a missile dropkick for good measure. Natalya is definitely more of the technical wrestler of the two. She does manage to kick Becky’s knee with the referee stood between them. Natalya locks the sharpshooter back on and Becky taps out!
Result: Natalya wins by submission.
Review: This match was pretty dull. I think they aimed to put on a technical match bit it wasn’t a classic. Natalya gets the win as both girls head over to Smackdown Live. It was a fairly clean win so I’m not sure if this feud will continue.
Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan are backstage with Dean Ambrose. They give Ambrose a motivational talk.
We see how Darren Young won a battle royal to become number one contender to the Intercontinental Championship.
The Miz (c) vs. Darren Young – WWE Intercontinental Championship match
Background: Darren Young won a battle royal to become number one contender to the Intercontinental Championship. Darren Young has Bob Backlund as his coach these days. The Miz has been drafted to Smackdown and Darren Young to Raw.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time match between these two men on PPV.
Battleground Record: Both men are 1-0 at Battleground events.
Match: Darren Young is the best out of the blocks, he takes Miz down with a headlock and then keeps Miz grounded. Maryse gets involved before long, distracting Darren Young which allows Miz to put Young off the top rope and to the outside. Miz dominates at a slow pace for much of the match but Darren Young does fire up for a comeback, dropping Miz on the apron for a near fall. Backlund shouts at Young to lock on the crossface chicken-wing but Miz counters and then looks to head to the back. Bob Backlund makes sure that doesn’t happen. Maryse slaps Backlund which distracts Young. Maryse then hits the deck and makes out that Backlund hit her. Miz shoves Backlund down and Darren Young then locks on the crossface on the outside! The referee calls for the bell. I think this one is a double count-out!
Result: Double count-out.
Review: This match wasn’t the best but I did like the finish with Darren Young going crazy because Miz attacked his life-coach. It ends a draw which means that Miz retains the Intercontinental Championship. They’re going to different brands now so this feud will be over.
There’s an ad for WWE 2K17 featuring Brock Lesnar.
There’s a hype video next for the following six man tag team match.
John Cena, Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. The Club (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson)
Background: This rivalry started with John Cena and AJ Styles but it wasn’t long before AJ Styles’ mates Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson got involved. Cena was the victim of 3 on 1 attacks when Enzo Amore and Big Cass helped out Cena. This has led to a six man tag team match tonight.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time six man tag team match involving these six men.
Battleground Record: John Cena is 2-0 at Battleground, the other 5 men make their Battleground debut tonight.
Match: Enzo Amore cuts one of his classic promos before this match. He is very good at them. Enzo Amore and Karl Anderson start off the match, the two smallest men in this one. “AJ Styles” chants break out as the match begins and so Anderson tags him in. AJ Styles out wrestles-Enzo but Big Cass takes the advantage for his team. The Club soon regain the advantage, taking it in turns to beat down Enzo. The fight goes to the outside where Enzo manages to dodge everyone but when he gets back in the ring to make the tag he gets wiped out by Karl Anderson. Enzo makes the hot tag to John Cena and Cena hits the five knuckle shuffle on AJ Styles. AJ counters an attitude adjustment and hits a Pele kick. It all breaks down then and all six men get into it. Enzo accidentally hits Cena with a cross body but Cena catches him. And then AJ accidentally hits Gallows with a phenomenal forearm. Cena hits AJ with an attitude adjustment but Anderson breaks up the cover. AJ hits the Styles Clash but Big Cass saves the match and then nails Styles with a running boot. Gallows and Anderson hit the magic killer on Cass. Cena crotches Styles on the top rope and then hits an attitude adjustment off the middle rope for the win.
Result: John Cena, Enzo Amore & Big Cass win by pinfall when Cena pins AJ Styles.
Review: This was a decent enough six man tag team match. Loads of action, especially when it all broke down later in the match. Cena and Styles head to Smackdown whilst the other four men are property of Raw now. I wouldn’t be surprised to see one more match between Cena and Styles at Summerslam. Six entertaining characters put on a good match tonight.
Chris Jericho is out next for the Highlight Reel. He is quick to announce his guest, Randy Orton. Randy Orton will be going one on one with Brock Lesnar at Summerslam next month. Orton isn’t happy at having to share the ring with Jericho in his big return. Jericho fills Orton in on everything that has taken place in his 9 month absence. Jericho plays a clip about Brock Lesnar. Orton says he looks forward to wrestling Brock and is glad that he isn’t returning after 9 months to face Fandango. Orton hits the RKO (outta nowhere) to end the segment.
There’s a video package next showing the history of The Shield.
Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins – Triple threat match for the WWE Championship
Background: The history of The Shield is well known, three men who came in together and took the WWE by storm until Seth Rollins turned on his group. Fast-forward to Money In The Bank where Roman Reigns defended his WWE Championship against Seth Rollins. Rollins won the match but before he had chance to celebrate, Dean Ambrose cashed in his Money In The Bank contract and became WWE Champion. Rollins and Reigns would then battle to determine a number one contender but the match ended in a draw. Dean Ambrose then said that he would face both at Battleground in a triple threat match. since then, Roman Reigns has had a four week suspension for failing a drug test. He returns tonight.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time triple threat match between these three former friends.
Battleground Record: Dean Ambrose is 0-1, Roman Reigns is 0-3 and Seth Rollins is 1-2.
Match: The commissioners and general managers come to ringside before the match. The bell rings and Seth Rollins tries to get Dean Ambrose on side but Ambrose isn’t having it and Rollins ends up getting double teamed by Ambrose and Reigns. Ambrose and Reigns dispose of Rollins a couple of times so that they can fight it out between themselves. The fight soon goes to the outside where Rollins takes the advantage with a flying knee to Ambrose and then throwing Reigns into the barricade. You sense that the match is starting to reach its conclusion when Roman Reigns hits both opponents with superman punches. Ambrose and Rollins then double team Roman Reigns before taking apart the Spanish announce table and double powerbombing Reigns through it! Rollins then smashes Ambrose with a chair. Rollins hits a superplex and then rolls through and hits a falcon arrow for a near fall. Reigns gets back into it and hits powerbombs on Dean and Seth. Rollins hits Reigns with a pedigree for a near fall. Rollins hits a buckle-bomb on Reigns but Reigns bounces out of the corner with a superman punch and then a spear. Ambrose then hits Reigns with dirty deeds and that’s enough for the three! Shane McMahon runs around the ring in celebration! The smackdown roster then come out to celebrate with Ambrose.
Result: Dean Ambrose retains the WWE Championship, pinning Roman Reigns.
Review: This was a good match. Not the greatest main event of all time but solid enough. Dean Ambrose retains the WWE Championship which means the title goes to Smackdown. Reigns takes the pinfall and I wonder if that is his punishment for failing the drug test. Dean Ambrose has always been behind the other two men so this is a big result for him.
And that was Battleground 2016. It was a real mixed bag. There were some really strange match-ups (Rusev/Ryder, Miz/Young) that lived up to the fairly low expectations. The main event was good but not great. The highlight of the night was Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn. Both are very talented and you could tell they were wrestling the match like it was their last against each other (which it was billed as). Overall, a pretty forgettable night. Worth watching the Kevin Owens/Sami Zayn match and the main event if you want to see the triple threat match between the former Shield members.
Overall Rating: 53.75/100 (ranked 254th out of 330)
Match Of The Night: Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
Worst Match Of The Night: Rusev vs. Zack Ryder
Surprise Of The Night: Natalya defeats Becky Lynch
Worst Booking Of The Night: Natalya beats Becky Lynch
Superstar Of The Night: Dean Ambrose
Battleground 2016 Will Be Remembered For: The triple threat match between the three former members of The Shield