WWE Battleground Kickoff
From the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California
Report by Brooks Oglesby of WrestlingNewsWorld.com
Fans are shown lined up outside the Staples Center as Renee Young welcomes us to the SummerSlam Kickoff. Seated next to her are Booker T, Ric Flair & Alex Riley. Booker says someone’s going to get hurt tonight. Riley says to use the hashtag #WWEKickoff to join the discussion. Flair lets out a “Woo” and says that he’s looking forward to seeing what Randy Orton does tonight. Renee then brings up John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar and asks the panel what will happen tonight.
Booker says John Cena can usually get the job done, but tonight he’s going against the guy who broke the Streak, so he can’t call it. Riley agrees, but says this is a must-win situation for Cena. Renee then brings up Brie Bella vs. Stephanie McMahon and sets up a promo package highlight the build of the feud over the past few weeks.
Booker T says he calls this the “Shucky Ducky Quack Quack” moment of the night. He says not to sleep on Stephanie McMahon. He says Ronda Rousey is backstage – why do you think she’s here? Renee then says that Cesaro vs. Rob Van Dam is coming up soon, so she throws it to the commentators at ringside.
Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler & JBL welcome us to the show and laugh about Booker’s phrasing as Rob Van Dam makes his entrance. Cesaro comes out next as Michael Cole points out the #WWEKickoff hashtag once again, noting that it’s trending worldwide.
Rob Van Dam vs. Cesaro
They lock up and Cesaro takes control, wrenching the arm. RVD rolls out, but Cesaro throws his head to the mat. RVD whips Cesaro into the corner and sends him back out with a monkey flip. Back in a corner, RVD lands a spinning wheel kick. RVD hits the ropes, backflips over Cesaro’s back, and sends him out of the ring. RVD goes for a plancha over the top rope, but Cesaro casually walks away from where RVD lands. Cesaro turns right into a superkick from RVD. RVD then hits Rolling Thunder on the outside, poses for the fans, and sends Cesaro back into the ring. Cesaro shoves a thumb into RVD’s eye and takes control, stomping RVD into the corner. Cesaro hits a delayed gutwrench suplex and draws some heat from the crowd.
Cesaro has RVD grounded in a side headlock. RVD fights to his feet and throws Cesaro to the ropes. Cesaro counters a leapfrog attempt into an innoative backbreaker. Cesaro does RVD’s Rolling Thunder roll, except he finishes with a double stomp to RVD’s abdomen. Cesaro applies a chinlock and whips RVD. RVD counters and gains momentum with a number of clotheslines. RVD then hits a split-legged moonsault for a near-fall. Cesaro is reeling on the apron and RVD hits a springboard kick sending Cesaro to the floor. RVD then hits a springboard backflip to Cesaro on the outside. RVD sends Cesaro into the ring and climbs to the top rope. RVD gets ready to fly but Cesaro gets up and catches him with a running European uppercut. Cesaro tries for a superplex but RVD knocks him off. Cesaro runs back, hits another European uppercut, and once again goes for a superplex. RVD once again knocks him off and Cesaro catches him with yet another European uppercut. RVD pushes him off, goes for a crossbody, but Cesaro catches him with a Very European Uppercut in midair, which gets a nearfall. Cesaro then tries the Neutralizer, but RVD flips Cesaro over his head. Cesaro lands on his feet, runs the ropes, and drops RVD with a running big boot for a two-count. Cesaro is showing signs of frustration. Cesaro slaps RVD and tries to kick him but RVD stops it and kicks Cesaro. Cesaro catches RVD’s leg on his next kick attempt, but lands his signature leg trap spinning kick. He then heads to the top rope and hits the Five-Star Frog Splash for the win.
Winner: Rob Van Dam
RVD celebrates in the ring. Meanwhile, back at the Kickoff Panel, Cesaro is standing behind the panelists, holding onto a referee. He’s yelling and pointing at the ref. He storms off and Renee Young previews the next video package, featuring the Totino’s Bold Show Us Your Superstar contest winner, “Mama’s Boy” Jake Tucker. She then welcomes Jake to the panel. Jake says it’s a pleasure to be among the panelists, and Renee asks who “Mama’s Boy” is. He says he’s the winner of the contest, and he lives with his mom, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t a tough guy. He said he went to the WWE Performance Center with the New Age Outlaws and Bill DeMott and took a beating in the ring. Renee says we’ll hear more about Mama’s Boy during SummerSlam, and brings up Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns and asks the panel who will win.
Flair says Reigns has a great future, but Randy Orton is the best performer in the world today. Booker T agrees. A promo package for Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena plays, closing out the Kickoff.