Thursday, July 18, 2024
EditorialBattleground 2016 Review and Match Ratings

Battleground 2016 Review and Match Ratings

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No generic article opener this time. Let’s get into it. I’m tired.

Sasha Banks and Bayley def. Charlotte and Dana Brooks

Interesting choice for the opener, but I understood the logic behind it considering that the crowd was anxious to see who the mystery partner was. In other words, they wanted to see Bayley debut, and they got it. I admit, I didn’t think WWE would have Bayley debut because I’m used to getting disappointed when it comes to surprises from WWE these days, but I’m glad Bayley FINALLY made her debut. Now as for whether or not this is a one shot deal for the time being before she’s officially called up remains to be seen (I’m leaning towards the former) but it’s a long time coming. She’s set for her rematch against Asuka at Takeover Brooklyn, but KO was called up while he was NXT Champion last year and was working the main roster and NXT. So I don’t see why she can’t do the same as well. She seems organically over with the crowd. As for the match, the crowd was hot for it, very energized, and the match for what it was had good action all around. All four women played their part well and the crowd reaction showed it. Sasha making Charlotte tap also made sense in the context of the storyline seeing as how she is the number 1 contender to set up Summerslam. So this was a good opener for me **3/4

The Wyatt Family def. The New Day

Of course the story throughout the entire match was going to be when Xavier Woods got involved and how he would fare against the Wyatt Family in the moment of truth. As for what proceeded that, I liked the action. Once the hot tag to Big E was made, the match picked up in a big way. There wasn’t a lot of dead spots, and they did their storytelling well. Now, as for how they all proceed now that they are split up, it’s anyone’s guess. Heaven forbid we get a Brock Lesnar/Braun Strowman feud. Hopefully Harper will recover from his injury sooner than later and perhaps join Wyatt and Rowan on Smackdown. That’s for a future time, but as for right now, I liked this match and it was another solid bout to begin the evening. ***

Rusev (C) w/Lana def. Zack Ryder – United States Championship

The only thing that I was looking for was that it didn’t go too long. No one believed that Ryder had any real chance of winning, so I was just hoping that WWE didn’t make this match longer than it needed to. I don’t have the official match count, but I think it was about 7 minutes, about 2 minutes longer than I wanted, but for what we got it was pretty solid for a match that had an outcome that wasn’t in question. Mojo coming out to protect his tag team partner was….meh, because not a lot of people care for him. Ryder almost breaking out of The Accolade, just to have it applied harder simultaneously much sums up his career doesn’t it? **1/4

Sami Zayn def. Kevin Owens

I was saying all day that this match was back and forth. I really had no idea who would win. Hell the betting odds had them both at a split at -120 each. The moment KO asked why Zayn won’t stay down, that’s the moment we knew who would be winning. Yes, some are sick of these two going at each other, but don’t count me amongst that group, because they showed, yet again, why fighting forever may not be such a bad idea. Let’s just give the due respect that both men deserve. The just know what to do and when to do it. But what impresses me the most about these two is how well they are able to tell their story. They were building up the fact that these two were best friends and now they are enemies. Each hit wasn’t a wrestling move, it was a hit out of frustration because they couldn’t stay each other. It turned from a wrestling match into a fight. Each punch, the back breaking suplex on the apron that KO took, Zayn looking at Owens’ lifeless body as he needed two finishers finish him off. One botch by Zayn aside, it was just incredible to see. I’d say it more or less topped their match at Payback, and that in itself was very good. You can now chalk up another MOTY performance for Sami Zayn, as he has now had classics against Shinsuke Nakamura at Takeover: Dallas, played a role in the ladder match at WrestleMania, against Kevin Owens at Payback, the fatal four way at Extreme Rules and this rematch which “ended: their rivalry. It’s been quite the year for him. Owens has had similar success as well. Where these two go from this point can be guessed by anyone, but man, these two deserve a ton of respect. If they fought tomorrow and decided they needed to fight over something else, I say let them. Why the hell not? ****1/2

Natayla def. Becky Lynch

Can’t blame the crowd for being stone cold for the majority of the match after burning their energy on a a match of the year candidate. I sort of feel bad for Becky and thought Jericho and Orton’s segment belonged here. In spite of that, this was a good little match. Becky’s selling of the knee was good to see as it would be easy to forget after what we just saw. But it’s good to see some still remember the big things in a match. As for why Natalya won this match, I cannot tell you. All I can tell you is that Lynch’s treatment has been disgusting. No offense to Natalya, but she has no business going over the face of the Women’s division of Smackdown at this point in their respective careers. The match was okay, I guess, but the result was very puzzling. Yeah, Natalya hasn’t had a good year, but you make her beat Becky because she couldn’t beat Charlotte? Whatever. Match was good, but the fact they followed Owens/Zayn hurt it. **1/2


The Miz (C) vs. Darren Young – No Contest – Intercontinental Championship

I’d REALLY like to know what it is WWE is protecting Darren Young for, because I fail to see why it was so difficult to just give The Miz the victory here. I thought they may have had something, but Darren Young just going on the outside and placing is half naked oiled up, sweaty body on top of The Miz to end the match was a visual that was not only confusing, but disturbing. The Miz hasn’t been on WWE programming much lately filming their bad WWE Studios movies, but we really couldn’t give him a PPV win here? I mean, please tell me why Darren Young couldn’t take the loss here? The match was kinda boring for the most part and it really never picked up for me. This was really just a comedy match and nothing more, which means that Young being made great again for over two months only resulted in a no contest finish that lasted about 9 minutes. What a waste of a spot and what a waste of Young’s gimmick. Just a sloppy mess to me. *



John Cena, Big Cass and Enzo Amore def. The Club (AJ Styles, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows) – Six Man Tag Team Match

Gonna take a wild guess here and say this PPV WON’T be ending by 11:00. Anyways, the opening promo done by Enzo was probably the best I’ve heard him. Scotty Not Too Hotty has his moments. They worked a very fun tag team match because the referee essentially allowed it to be a tornado match by the match’s end. Cena pinning AJ all but confirms that there will be a rubber match at Summerslam. Kind of surprised they didn’t have time for a Big Cass hot tag, but it didn’t matter. It got off to sort of a slow start, but once everyone flew everywhere, business picked up. In addition, however, I can’t help but point out that it did get sloppy at times. I mean, Cena basically tossed Enzo to Gallows. Who does that? The face of the company for the past 10 years? It was a little long for me to get to the finish, but everything was pretty good on my end. ***1/4



Highlight Reel ft. Randy Orton

Man, Orton taking shots left and right in his return. I mean, Fandango isn’t a main eventer or anything, but calling out specific people on the lower end of the stick in the WWE hierarchy you wouldn’t face? That’s just low man. And that little enhancement comment by Lesnar? Oh boy. He’ll need to order a set of rotator cuffs just for that. It’s not like Orton had any wellness violations himself and WWE had to change the rules to help keep him. No, he’s fine. Anyways, I actually liked this segment a lot. I was afraid that it was going to end up badly because Orton’s isn’t all that great on the mic, but Jericho’s slimy humor and Orton’s revitalized energy carried the segment. I thought it was pointless originally, but it was sort of a good way to set the framework going forward. So not a complete waste of time to me.

Dean Ambrose (C) def. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns – WWE Championship

Man, this may be my worst predictions ever. Coming into this show, I was convinced that Rollins was winning the title. Not because RAW needed the belt, but because Smackdown was lacking main event players. Orton has Lesnar at Summerslam. Cena probably has Styles. So who does that leave for Ambrose at Summerslam? A revisited feud with Bray Wyatt? Some semblance of Dolph Ziggler? Baron Corbin? Del Rio? That’s the part that was puzzling to see. It will be interesting to see how WWE plays it out, because Ambrose has been shafted by WWE for a long time and to see him get to this point? Good for him. As for the match, well, color me disappointed. It just wasn’t the fantastic, memorable triple threat, tell your grandkids type of match that I was expecting. This was a main event that people wanted for WrestleMania this year. But instead, it was sort of……passable. I mean, I did like it. Rollins had some great moments and had some great singles stuff with Ambrose and Reigns played his part well. But the chemistry that I know these three have….well, it didn’t really blossom for me here like I thought it would. To top it off, I was sure that it was going to get more time. The finish came too abruptly for me. I would think there would be more build-up to the spots where they all hit their finishers. In addition, I thought Reigns got back into the picture far too quickly after Rollins and Ambrose put him through the table. Now, I knew coming in that Roman was certainly not winning because of his wellness fiasco, and while Dean always had a chance, Seth was the favorite to me, and it turns out WWE is really ready to pull the trigger on Ambrose as champion, and I’m more than fine with that. If they believe Ambrose should be the one holding the title, then I say give him the chance to test his metal. On a roster that features some of WWE’s prominent faces such as Orton and Cena, having Ambrose wear the belt sends a clear message. It’s a shame that the match wasn’t more memorable, because the celebration after was good to see as well. As for RAW, I’m still not sure whether or not WWE is going to introduce a second world title, and that factored into my prediction that Rollins would win. So, in closing, I’ll say that the match was good, but far from great. I was expecting more. Doesn’t take away from the match, though. Sounds harsh, but don’t take it the wrong way. ***1/2

Conclusion:

Would I watch this whole PPV over again? Certainly not. It was just far too long, and there was a lot of fluff. If there are things that I would recommend you nitpick and see for yourself, it would certainly have to be Bayley’s debut and Owens/Zayn. Orton and Jericho’s segment was pretty good too. Believe it or not, you could get away with missing the main event. It wasn’t all that special to me, but that doesn’t mean it was bad. I think the fatal four way between Rollins, Ambrose, Reigns and Orton was better last year save all the interference. For a placeholder PPV that served as a intermediary between Money In The Bank and Summerslam, I can’t say that this was a horrible show. I just didn’t think it was a complete show. I didn’t like how the mid-card belts were basically comedy matches, I didn’t like Natayla going over and the timing was too long. But Owens/Zayn alone could be worth the price of admission and if you want to see the Shield triple threat just for the sake of seeing the match many wanted to see for a long time then by all means go ahead. Some people may call it an amazing show, and I can see why, but for me, for a show that lasted over three hours, I just felt like it was okay. Wasn’t horrible. Didn’t have me jumping out my seat, save for Owens/Sami. I’ll say thumbs up for Battleground, but probably wouldn’t sit through the entire 215 minutes to see everything again. Take out 2 or 3 matches and you have a PPV of the year. Until next time.

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