WWE Battleground 2016 Results and Thoughts
WWE Battleground 2016 has come and gone and man, oh man, did it ever exceed my expectations. The show was great and while there were a few downs or questionable choices made, never during the show was I bored or bitching about it. Let’s run it down!
The Usos vs. Breezango (Pre-Show Match)
I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t impressed with this quick match. Both teams had great offense, defense, and spots. The ending with the back and forth action, resulting in Breeze putting his knees up to block a frog-splash and covering Jimmy Uso for the win, had the crowd popping – which is rare for a Pre-Show match. Very happy with the progress Breezango has made and the right team went over.
Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. Charlotte and Dana Brooke
One of the best “feel-good” moments of the night came early on when Bayley’s music hit and she came out to a major ovation. The match between the four women was decent, but there were a few spots that didn’t flow where you were catching the ladies wait for the other to get to their spot. Dana Brooke looked really green in this match as she was missing spots all over the place. In the end, Sasha got Charlotte in the Bank Statement and Charlotte had no choice but to tap – which will now lead to their eventual Summerslam match for the Women’s Championship.
The only bummer part was where the commentators started harping about Bayley being in a “WWE Ring” as a “one time only” deal. If WWE coudn’t see the money that Bayley will be, it makes me shake my head. I’m sure Bayley will be officially called up after the NXT Takeover event that will happen the night before Summerslam.
Winners: Sasha Banks and Bayley
The New Day vs. The Wyatt Family
I wasn’t interested in this match, as I stated in my prediction column. The New Day came out gloating they’re now the longest reigning tag-team champions. That’s easy to gloat about when they very rarely defend the belts and that’s my main issue with them.
There were spots in this match where the timing was off pretty bad, but when Big E dove out of the ring near the end of the match into Strowman, I jumped out of my seat as he came down pretty damn hard on his neck.
Xavier Woods had some of the best offense I’ve seen from him in a long time. In the end, the story behind Woods being freaked out by Bray Wyatt continued as the nerves got the best of him resulting with Woods being pinned by the Bray. Unfortunately, the ending of this match does nothing as Bray and Rowan are heading to Smackdown and the belts weren’t on the line for some stupid reason. Oh well.
Winners: The Wyatt Family
Rusev (Champ) vs. Zack Ryder – US Championship Match
This match was OK for the time for the time they were given. I’m surprised that Ryder was given as much offense as he was given and there was a part of me near the end of the match where I actually thought Ryder was going to get the win as he went up to the top rope to drop an elbow – Macho Man style! Rusev then made Ryder tap out and continued to punish him after the win. Mojo Rawley came down to make the save foreshadowing that the Hype Bros would probably be continuing as a tag-team on Smackdown.
Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn
What can I say? This is how you do a match! Both men gave it their all and took some heavy punishment from each other. The backdrop Zayn gave Owens on the edge of the ring made me jump as it looked absolutely devastating. In the end, Zayn handed Owens his ass with two Helluva Kicks. Owens sold the first one like he was about to die and when Zayn gave him the second one for good measure, you had it in your mind that Owens was just psyching him out, ready to pounce. Instead, Zayn connected and Owens just dropped.
The announcers stated that this finally ended their feud, but with both of them on the Raw roster and how they both had the match of the night, I just don’t see WWE not letting them go one more time at the biggest event of the summer, I just can’t see them promoting something as big as a “final” match with some sort of stipulation.
Winner: Sami Zayn
Natalya vs. Becky Lynch
As soon as I saw Natalya come out, I felt so bad because how in the hell could anyone follow the Owens/Zayn match?!? The women did a good job, but this was one of the only times that the crowd seemed deflated. I would have preferred to see Becky win this won with an attack by Natalya after the match or a double DQ due to the women fighting and not listening to the ref. We’ll see where this goes on Smackdown this week as I’m sure this feud will continue.
The Miz (Champ) vs. Darren Young – Intercontinental Championship match
This was my least favourite match of the night. Not necessarily because the wrestling and match quality was bad, but because I wasn’t invested to Young being a viable challenger or the lead up to the match. As well, the ending was just a confusing mess. Why on earth did the ref call for the bell at the end? There was no need to stop the match. Young losing it at the end and putting The Miz in the Cross-face Chicken Wing was not something to create sympathy for the face. Backlund shouldn’t be involved in anything as he oversold the slap he took. Even Michael Cole said he didn’t understand what was going on.
Winner: The Miz
John Cena and Enzo & Cass vs. AJ Styles and The Club
This match was really, really good as well. It was more than I expected. Before even talking about the match or spots, holy SHIT, is Enzo Amore ever on fire on the mic and with the crowd. Gotta love when Enzo said “don’t make eye contact when you’re eating a banana” and Saxton on commentary says to JBL, “you taking notes?” HA! Loved it.
I thought every wrestler had a chance to shine during the match and no one looked weak or incompetent. That’s important when you’re building stars with established main eventers. I didn’t find the match or any of the spots to be over the top or any part of it to be the victim of overbooking.
The match ended with John Cena giving Styles an AA off the top turnbuckle. It was good to see that it took something that big to have Styles take the pin, but although this will set up the rubber match between the two at Summerslam, having Styles get pinned again on a PPV doesn’t do much for me. The right team went over but I think Styles didn’t need to be pinned. I guess I’ll see if this decision is the catalyst for the next four weeks of this feud leading to Summerslam.
Randy Orton and the Highlight Reel
I’ll keep this brief: I’ve never liked Randy Orton but it was interesting to see him try to use a little bit of humour in this bit. I thought Jericho and Orton played off each other well, but when Orton came out, the crowd didn’t give him near the pop and applause that they gave Bayley. That should tell you something.
I was surprised when Orton mentioned Lesnar’s potential doping that he got flagged for for his UFC match. I don’t think it was scripted and it looked like Jericho really didn’t know how to respond to it except by laughing. When Jericho said right after, “I think you’re going to be in trouble for that,” I don’t think he was kidding as Orton began laughing and said, “I think so, too.”
Unless Lesnar and/or Heyman get on TV tonight on Raw to retort in anyway, I don’t see how they will build this feud before Summerslam properly as when it was announced, and even now, I could care less about this match-up.
Dean Ambrose (Champ) vs. Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns – WWE Championship Match
I didn’t like seeing the locker rooms with the wrestlers who on their respected shows sitting around together to watch this match. Also, while it elevated the importance of this match, having the Raw and Smackdown COOs and the GMs at ringside didn’t need to take up the time it did.
Rollings got a great pop, Reigns got booed probably the worst he has ever been, and Ambrose got a cheer louder than I think I’ve ever heard for him which shows I think it was the right decision to have the belt on him.
Once again, and I know I’ve said this a lot in this column, I thought everyone looked strong and had good offense and defense in. That’s what made this PPV so entertaining. Was this match as strong as Owens/Zayn? No, but it was a pretty solid main event and exceeded my expectations. Rollins’ over the top rope flip onto Reigns and Ambrose was done so well, and then both of them teaming up to put Reigns through the Spanish announcer’s table was brilliant and had the crowd in the palm of their hand – only for Rollins take out a chair and smack Ambrose and then Reigns with it. So well done.
The ending of the match was pretty good with it looking like Reigns was gonna “Hulk Up” again and pin Rollins, but Ambrose nailed Reigns at the last second with Dirty Deeds and covered him for the 1-2-3. I guess WWE is really sticking it to Reigns and making him lay down for the pin. It’ll be interesting to see how he’ll be booked in the next few weeks as I’m sure Reigns vs. Rollins will be the program and match leading to Summerslam.
I thoght it was quite funny that The Usos, who are cousins with Reigns, were the ones who put Ambrose on their shoulder at the end of the show. Was that done on purpose as another knock down of Reigns?
The thing they need to do with Ambrose coming out as the victor and still the WWE Champion, they HAVE to develop his character. They need to make him the “lunatic fringe” and back it up with his actions, words, and overall persona. He needs less comedy and maintain his fighting spirit.
Where does Ambrose go leading to Summerslam? I’m not exactly sure as I don’t know who WWE will get to step up to face Ambrose. I could see Wyatt vs. Ambrose as a good feud as they could pitch the battle of using psychological tactics.