WWE: Battleground 2016 Notebook
Since my next podcast recording will feature my full review of Battleground, this will be a relatively short notebook. I mean, why do a long one and then record a podcast? This, this will be a preview of the next episode of my podcast.
Pre-Show: Breezango def. The Usos
I love Breezango as a tag team and really hope they find success. They’re an easy to hate (and love) team that could go very far if given the chance. I also love that Breezango gets the victory over former WWE Tag Team Champions, The Usos. That’s some credibility for the team.
1st Match: Sasha Banks & Bayley def. Charlotte & Dana Brooke
I was marking pretty hard for Bayley getting the one-off appearance at Battleground. Some people disagree with her remaining in NXT, I think she’s needed more in NXT than the WWE main roster. The finish itself was great and what I thought was a set-up for SummerSlam, but as we learned on RAW the next night, that was not the case. Great showing from the ladies involved. I didn’t even hate Dana Brooke so much.
2nd Match: The Wyatt Family def. The New Day
Good match between the two teams, one of which was having their finale (The Wyatts, again) while the others were staying around on Raw (New Day). Started off slow, picked up towards the end, a good ending with Wyatt freaking out Woods again. Sad to see The Wyatts split again, but one has to wonder where Luke Harper falls when he returns from injury.
3rd Match: Rusev def. Zack Ryder to retain the WWE United States Championship
Decent match, rather predicable outcome, but it was nice to see Ryder have a moment on pay-per-view since they’ve been rather rare in recent years, but a little more frequent this year. The Mojo Rawley/Rusev showdown after the match was puzzling since they’re not on the same brand, but whatever, I got it. It was to establish Mojo as a no-nonsense, in-your-face type of guy. Ugh…
4th Match: Sami Zayn def. Kevin Owens
MATCH OF THE NIGHT! Boom. Do I need to say much more before the podcast? Yes? Fine. Brainbuster on the apron. Counter after counter, high offensive energy, great story-telling, and an emotional ending that reminded me and a lot of people of the final moments of Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania XXIV (I’m sorry, I love you!) or even the final moments of Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania XXVI when Michaels clung on and slit his own throat before belting Taker and taking one mean tombstone. Anyway, this whole show is solid, but if you choose only one, I nominate this one.
5th Match: Natalya vs. Becky Lynch
Damn shame these ladies had to play the cooler in between Zayn vs. Owens and what turned out to be a rather boring and confusion Intercontinental Championship Match because I think they had a better match than the title match that followed this one. I was really happy with Natalya getting the win, even though it came at the expense of Becky Lynch taking another loss, because it helped solidify her heel turn. I wish she had cheated a tad more to get the heel side over more, but I’m happy that she is getting the chance she is to be a heel again, a role that I found Natalya to be very enjoyable in, especially during her run with Beth Phoenix.
6th Match: The Miz retains the Intercontinental Championship vs. Darren Young when the match ends in a presumed no contest
My least favorite match of the night. It was slow, I didn’t feel invested in it, and the ending was bizarre as all hell. I don’t know how much more I can say here because I feel like it is a waste of typing. I don’t like how Darren Young was booked heading into the match and it felt rather predictable, in the same sense that Rusev vs. Ryder was predictable, that The Miz would retain. That probably didn’t help my outlook on this match.
7th Match: John Cena, Enzo Amore, and Big Cass def. The Club
The second of the six man tags on the night delivered big in my opinion, from the opening promo all the way to the final bell when Cena got the pinfall over AJ Styes to presumably set up a SummerSlam rematch on the premise that Styles beat Cena with people involved, Cena beat Styles with other people involved (legally, but why would a heel admit that?), and so they need to find out who would win one on one. Maybe a Cage Match? The match had nice pace to it and there was only one real odd moment that stood out to me, which was when Cena and Styles, as the legal men, spent a good minute on the floor.
MAIN EVENT: Dean Ambrose def. Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins in a Triple Threat Match to retain the WWE Championship
In the end, this match was pretty freakin’ incredible, but I thought it was a slow start. The timing seemed off and some of the selling of offensive from their opponents seemed questionable. Questionable in a way that I, as the viewer, wondered why I should believe that what just happened to say, Ambrose, hurt him. However, once the pace picked up, it was an incredible way to end the show. They had a number of awesome sequences revolving around counters, signatures, and finishers and the finish itself was booked in a way that no one really looks bad for the loss, not even Reigns who took the direct loss to Ambrose in the end. This match made everyone look good (even Reigns) and made no one look bad (even Reigns, then again, he’s done enough to his reputation).
I’ve decided to change my rating system in the notebooks to the rating of 10. I found the old grammar school system of A, B, C, D, and F to be a little restrictive.
Battleground PPV Rating: 8/10
Why? Damn near perfect show with the exception of the predictable outcomes of many of the matches. The draft happening before the PPV didn’t help matters, but when matching up against my pre-show predictions, I hit on 7 out of 8 main card matches and the miss was only because who often predicts a no-contest. I didn’t even know there was a pre-show match, so I offered no predictions there.
My full, in-depth review and analysis of WWE Battleground is scheduled to be recorded on Saturday, July 30th and should be available later in that day. To follow this show on social media, you can do so at the following addresses:
YouTube (where the show is posted): http://wwrpodcast.tk
Thanks for reading and listening!