Sasha Banks and ...Bayley! b. Charlotte and Dana Brooke
Finish: Sasha Banks hits the Banks Statement and makes Charlotte tap out!
Pass or Fail: Pass!
Summary: This match passed with flying colors and I commend WWE for putting it on first. They knew this match would get the crowd electric and that's exactly what happened. Bayley HAD to be Sasha's partner, but that doesn't make it any less exciting that it was her. The match itself was solid, but it was really the start and finish that carried the buzz. The question is did Bayley get her call-up or was this a one time deal? If it was her call-up, which show will she go to? Regardless, an excellent start to Battleground and a great way to set the tone for the night. The women are no longer just a bathroom break. I know that, at this point, it should go without saying, but it's important to step back and see how far they've come. The first match of the night is a very important match and Sasha, Bayley, and Charlotte all came to deliver. They did just that, too! Sasha and Bayley are destroying any glass ceilings that WWE have had in the past for women.
The Wyatt Family b. The New Day
Finish:Xavier broke out of his trance to fight off the Wyatts. However the numbers overtook him and he walked right into a Sister Abigal.
Pass or Fail: Pass
Summary: The first thing I have to say about this match is that it was FANTASTIC storytelling. There are not many matches and storylines that tell a story in the ring as well as these 6 guys did. Xavier, in particular, did a fantastic job. I was a big fan of letting Woods break out of his trance and fight off all the Wyatts. It gave Xavier credibility letting him hold off the Wyatts and take it to Bray in particular. There is nothing wrong with him getting pinned when he fought so well. New Day is staying together and The Wyatt Family aren't so it was smart to book things the way they did. New Day isn't hurt by this loss either, that's important to remember. If anything, they seem stronger now. Going into this match Xavier Woods was questioning if New Day can stay together after battling with the Wyatt Family and frankly he seemed scared of Bray Wyatt. Leaving this match Woods had confidently faced his fears and New Day will live to fight another day. Like I said earlier, it was great storytelling. When New Day started Woods seemed like he might have been the weak link and I think WWE wanted to play on that here a bit. Coming out of tonight Woods seems like just as strong a link as Kofi or Big E, even if he did take the pin.
Rusev b. Zack Ryder for the UnitedStatesChampionship
Finish: Rusev locked in the Accolade, but Ryder started to fight it off. Before Ryder could get all the way out of the Accolade Rusev fell backward and locked in the backward Accolade. After the match, Rusev continued to attack but Mojo Rawley made the save.
Pass or Fail:Pass
Summary:Zack Ryder may not have won, but WWE is doing a good job of rebuilding him. Now that the brands are split and Zack is on Smackdown, hopefully, he will start getting some wins under his belt and he can really become established. Rusev comes off looking good for winning and can take his title to Raw. Rusev is also in the middle of being rebuilt and it's going well. I think this was a great match for both parties involved. Was it the match of the year? No. Was it important to both men? Yes, absolutely. Ryder and Rusev worked well together to get each other over the way they needed to get over. Rusev got Ryder to look tough, like he has fire burning inside him, and he isn't going to slow down. And because Rusev got Ryder to look stronger, in turn, it made Rusev look all the stronger when he won. This is a simple booking move, but so often it doesn't hit the mark. Either it seems silly for a lower card wrestler to be holding their own against a "stronger" wrestler or it makes the "stronger" wrestler look weak. Ryder and Rusev got this one off flawlessly and I have to commend both guys for it.
Sami Zayn b. Kevin Owens
Finish: Sami Zayn hits the Helluva Kick once, then puts Owens in the corner so he can hit it a second time before pinning him.
Pass or Fail: Passwith flying colors
Summary: What. A. Match. Holy crap! If you didn't watch this match, go do it now. If you did watch this match, go watch it again! This is what wrestling is all about! These guys tore the house down. Easily one of the top matches on the year. Easily. Sami botched hard early in the match and looked like he might have hurt his shoulder. He either didn't hurt it that badly or just fought through the pain like a champ. Some fantastic moves, some false finishes. A double finisher from Sami to seal the deal. This was a classic! When we're watching Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn's career DVDs in 15 years this match will be a highlight.
From here, I expect these two guys to separate and I don't blame them for doing it. That said, every time I think they should end this rivalry, they put on a match like this and I want more. I want both men to move forward and move to bigger and better things. The great thing about this rivalry is that they can leave it now and come back to it anytime they want. This is like Triple H and Shawn Michaels, a rivalry that spans an entire career. Not only can they revisit it anytime they want to, but it'll be great everytime they do.
Natalya b. Becky Lynch
Finish: Becky Lynch is locked in the sharpshooter and taps out.
Pass or Fail: Fail
Summary: This match was stuck in a very unfortunate spot, having to follow Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn. The "cool down" match is never a fun one to have to wrestle, but on top of that, the match was average. The problem with having an average match after a remarkable match is it looks worse in comparison. The icing on the crap cake is that Natty went over Becky which was absolutely the wrong choice. WWE can't call Becky Lynch the face of the Smackdown Women's division and then have her lose clean. Not only lose clean, but tap out! Natalya isn't a bad wrestler but Becky Lynch is the future and needs to get some momentum. Becky hasn't come out on top in a long time, and that's a huge mistake.
Miz b. Darren Young for the IntercontinentalChampionship
Finish: After Bob and Maryse had a scuffle on the outside Miz went out to confront Backlund. Darren went out and locked in the Crossface Chicken Wing and the ref called for the bell because...reasons?
Pass or Fail: Epic Fail
Summary: This match went to hell and it went there fast. There was confusion on the outside with Maryse and Bob. It was pointless and took away from the match. Then the ref called for the bell for a reason I'm still not sure about. It was terrible booking and it was a typical case of #WWELogic. The match was ended for no reason at all. This was the low point of a fantastic card. I have to wonder how the same writers who write the rest of the show booked this match. I wish I could say more about it, but the match was bland, boring, and quite frankly didn't get much time before the confusion happend. Then, there was a complete headscratcher in the finish of the match that I think WWE was just hoping to move on from as quickly as possible so no one noticed how illogical it was. It was so illogical, in fact, that it makes me wonder if Bob Backlund or Maryse may have missed a que somewhere in there. Perhaps something more logical was supposed to happen and someone forgot to play their part. I can't say for sure, but what I can say is WWE needs to run away from this storyline and hope that no one ever remembers this match.
Cena & Enzo and Cass b. The Club (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson)
Finish: Cena hit the AA from the middle turnbuckle on AJ Styles for the win.
Pass or Fail:Pass
Summary: This match had two jobs and it did it extremely well. First, it needed to give a set up for AJ vs. Cena III at Summerslam. It did it well by having Cena hit a massive Attitude Adjustment from the corner on AJ and pinning him. The second goal this match had was to get Enzo and Cass over (as if they needed it) and it was accomplished with flying colors. Enzo especially came off well, not only in the epic promo he cut, but in the match, too. This match was given some good time and it allowed Enzo, Cass, Gallows, and Anderson to show that they can all hang with the best of them. Cena and AJ obviously don't need to show how deep they can dig, but we haven't seen it much from the other four guys mentioned. This match was a good preview of what they can do. It will be interesting to see if WWE continues the rivalry between Enzo and Cass & Anderson and Gallows. All four guys are on Raw so it is a very real possibility. Honestly, the dynamic works really well. Enzo and Anderson as the small feisty guys, and Gallows and Cass as the muscle. I wouldn't be surprised to see them square off at SummerSlam.
Dean Ambrose b. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns for the WWEChampionship
Finish: Roman hit a spear on Seth Rollins and then Dean Ambrose hit a Dirty Deeds on Roman Reigns.
Pass or Fail: Epic Pass
Summary: Wow I was blown away by this match. Even more, I'm blown away that there wasn't any overbooking in this match! I thought for sure with Stephanie, Shane, Mic Foley, and Daniel Bryan at ringside that something screwy was going to happen. I was very happy to be proven wrong. This match was everything we wanted from a Shield Triple Threat match. These three guys proved EXACTLY why they are the top dogs right now. This match was built beautifully. It started slower, but not too slow, and began accelerating more and more going into the finish. We got some great spots like Ambrose and Rollins teaming up to do the Shield Powerbomb on Roman, through the Spanish announce table. Then Rollins pulling out a chair and hitting Dean in the back, reminiscent of him originally turning on The Shield. Roman hit two big powerbombs on Dean and Seth. A false finish with the Pedigree to Roman. Not to mention some of the three-way coordination in the match was fantastic. My favorite spot was Rollins hitting Dean into the ropes, Roman hitting Seth with the Superman Punch and then Dean coming off the ropes to hit the Lunatic Clothesline on Roman. This match was absolutely fantastic and was the perfect end to an extremely strong PPV.
It was the right decision for Ambrose to go over clean, too. Ambrose going over clean gives him serious momentum going forward. He beat Seth 1 on 1, he beat Roman and Seth in a triple threat. It makes him seem like a serious WWE Champion, as he should! There was a great deal of doubters going into tonight. People were saying he would be a transitional champion or that there would be a screwy finish. WWE absolutely made the right call and let Dean retain clean. Now, Raw can bring in their own World Championship and Smackdown feels like a stronger show knowing that their champion is legitimate. Personally, I'd like to see a World Championship tournament on Raw. I know some people have said that it should be Seth vs. Roman, but I think it might be a good idea to give those guys a little space for now. We also have to see where Roman goes from here. Does he stay face and go for the redemption storyline or do they turn him heel and allow his character to grow and adapt. Obvious, I'm in favor of the latter but we don't know. I honestly think that Finn Balor should step in as the top face, maybe even win the Raw World Championship as soon as Summerslam. We will have to watch Raw tomorrow to find out!
Summary: Battleground was a fantastic PPV and possibly the best of the year for me. We saw Bayley make her main roster debut and Sasha Banks get a bit of revenge. The Wyatt Family beat the New Day as a fairwell before parting ways. This was fine because New Day wasn't hurt by the loss and The Wyatt Family, Bray in particular, need a strong win. Zack Ryder didn't beat Rusev but he and Rusev both look strong going forward in their careers. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens wrestled possibly the best match of the year, and definitely the best match of the year on the main roster. The match between Becky Lynch and Natalya dropped the ball, and confusion between Miz and Darren Young were a blemish in an otherwise great PPV. They came back strong with the 6-man tag match that saw Cena, Enzo and Cass not only win, but look great doing it. I'd have to say Enzo came off the best in the match, getting the crowd completely behind him. We saw the return of the Viper, who took a nice shot at Brock Lesnar's recent PED troubles. Finally, we had a truly epic Triple Threat match between the former members of The Shield. This was a match we've been waiting over 2 years for and boy did it deliver. No overbooking, no dusty finish, and the right man went over. Overall, a fantastic night for wrestling. It's nights like this that bring us back and keep us watching!
Let us know what you thought of Battleground in the comments below!