Wrestling Review: WWE Battleground (2016)

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Following a groundbreaking draft, which saw every superstar sent to either Raw or SmackDown, WWE Battleground is shaping up to be just as big. The main event will see a triple threat between the former members of The Shield; the architect Seth Rollins, the returning juggernaut Roman Reigns and the lunatic champion Dean Ambrose. Where will the WWE Championship be, and who will be holding it when Battleground goes off the air? After a brawl at the Wyatt’s compound, The New Day were looking to put their nightmares in the rear view mirror, but the Wyatts had other plans. When they go three-on-three one last time, will it be the longest reigning tag team champs, the New Day, or the new faces of fear who emerge victorious? Both of the other males singles titles are also on the line, as the Miz defends his Intercontinental Title against Darren Young and Zack Ryder challenges the United States Champion Rusev, and with those two matches both being between superstars from separate shows, who knows where the titles will end up. Also on the cards are a grudge match between Becky Lynch and Natalya, as well as the Women’s Champion Charlotte, alongside her protege Dana Brooke against Sasha Banks and a mystery partner of Banks’ choosing, plus much more!

+ Dean Ambrose (c) vs Seth Rollins vs Roman Reigns (WWE Championship): no matter when or where this took place, it was always going to be something to see. Rollins and Ambrose have such fantastic chemistry together, and as much as I cannot stand Reigns, he did his part tremendously, a few minor messy transitions not withstanding. This was everything the match was billed to be, and hopefully will happen again sometime in the future
+ Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens: this was billed as the final confrontation between these two, and I hope that is the case, because these two have been on the roster together for less than a year and it already feels overplayed. One very nasty miscue nearly ended badly for Zayn, and a hugely necessary move nearly ended badly for Owens. Overall, though, these two did show why they have had such a well respected in-ring rivalry, because this was a fantastic match
+ Becky Lynch vs Natalya: this was a great technical match between two women who deserve much better than what they are being given. It’s a cliched feud (person A turns on person B) but these two have had great matches, and I want to see more
+ John Cena and Enzo & Cass vs The Club (AJ Styles, Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows): after a blistering opening promo from Cena, Enzo and Cass, this was a fantastic match. Admittedly, the ending fell quite flat after some huge crowd response teases, but overall this was a great tag team match
+ Rusev (c) (w/ Lana) vs Zack Ryder (United States Championship): Ryder makes such an empathetic underdog good guy, and Rusev is such a solid monster bad guy. This was a good match, with an interesting ending that leaves some room for futher conflict
+ The New Day vs The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan & Braun Strowman): following the underwhelming brawl at the Wyatt compound, this was a good standard match. Lots of story moments made this a solid ending (I assume) for their feud
+ The Usos vs Breezango (Tyler Breeze & Fandango): this was quite short, even for a pre-show match, but it was still surprisingly enjoyable. The Usos will benefit tremendously from a smaller tag roster on SmackDown, and Breezango are still developing but have a bright future
+ Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel, featuring Randy Orton’s return was amazing. Both guys were dropping some bombs on the mic, at least one of which may get someone into a bit of trouble. This was all to hype the Summerslam match between Orton and Brock Lesnar, and it certainly did that.

– The Miz (c) (w/ Maryse) vs Darren Young (w/ Bob Backlund) (Intercontinental Championship): this entire Darren Young story is stupid, but he can certainly go in the ring. Miz and Maryse with fantastic entrance outfits. This was a solid match until a ridiculous ending did nothing for anyone involved except make them all look stupid
– Charlotte & Dana Brooke vs Sasha Banks & her mystery partner: the mystery partner was expected, but still very welcome. This was a short and sloppy match, to be honest. I personally don’t understand they hype around Sasha, and Charlotte is really not that great. Dana is still learning… basically, this was not great

> after a scathing, frank interview following his draft to Raw, Cesaro once again dropped some truth bombs on the pre-show here.

Should you watch this event: Overall, this was a good event. Following the draft on Smackdown last week, this was always set to be something exciting and it didn’t disappoint. Go out of your way to see the latest in the Kevin Owens/Sami Zayn saga, and of course the main event triple threat, and the other good matches above are worth a watch if you have the time.

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