Monday, July 20, 2015

Battleground kicked out the stops and plowed right towards a Deadman!

WWE has put together several great pay-per-views—or perhaps I should join Michael Cole and call them specials now—this year. Last month's Money in the Bank was actually one of the most disappointing ones in my opinion, but in its third year on WWE's slate Battleground put on one of the strongest cards for a C-special in quite some time.

The show kicked off with Sheamus and Randy Orton. While this is a battle we have seen a million times before and easily the weakest match on the card, the two put on a surprisingly good battle. The fight almost seemed to be a throwback compared to much of current WWE, but the two former World champions beat the holy heck out of each other. Ultimately it was an RKO out of nowhere though that ended it well for the hometown fans.

The tag team battle between the Prime Time Players and The New Day was much like last month's match only with a lot more Kofi Kingston and a lot less Xavier Woods. I was a bit surprised to see the Prime Time Players retain with the hell ranks of the tag team division so light. I cannot imagine The Ascension will get a SummerSlam push, so maybe this feud hasn't ended just yet.

Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns put on a hell of a slobberknocker, but beating the piss out of one another was really the theme of the show. Both men gave probably their best accounting in the last few months. The finish started something that WWE desperately needed to do months ago as Luke Harper helped Wyatt win in a move that clearly brought two Wyatt Family members back together.

Seen here with Paige & other new recruit Becky Lynch, Charlotte
shined at Battleground. Image credit:
Two of the three new Divas got to show off their styles to a wider audience as Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Brie Bella battled it out in a three way. Sasha controlled the majority of the match as she looked absolutely dominant, while Brie got to show off several moves to show how much better she's in the ring now than at this time last year. Charlotte strangely got the least offense despite her larger size, but she did get the big win as she locked the Figure 8 on Brie in the center of the ring. I was a bit disappointed to see the match only go just under twelve minutes, but the commentary team clearly worked to improve how the match was presented. Little talk of attractiveness interrupted the flow of the match as Cole, JBL and Lawler actually stayed on topic.

John Cena and Kevin Owens for the United States title continued a series of absolutely amazing matches between two absolutely amazing wrestlers. John Cena is having a career defining year as the US champion while Owens finally gets to show off why he came to WWE in the first place. While Cena did get the clean submission to end the match, Owens came out looking like an absolute beast. I don't think is over either, as I have a strong suspicion these two men will meet one last time at SummerSlam.

After a short bathroom break segment with The Miz and Big Show it was time for the main event. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins surprisingly came out first. He seemed confident as Brock Lesnar entered and even got a little bit of offense in the middle of his beatdown. But for the most part, the Battleground title match seemed like a repeat of last year's SummerSlam drubbing of John Cena.

The Undertaker is back! Image credit:
But the returning Undertaker changed all that as he interrupted Lesnar's pin on Seth Rollins by killing the lights. When the lights returned, Rollins and the referee were gone. Brock Lesnar was face to face with the Deadman for the first time in a year and a half. Undertaker proceeded to take Lesnar down with a chokeslam, a Last Ride and two Tombstone Piledrivers to end the show.

Overall, Battleground proved to be one of the strongest showings WWE has had all year, which is doubly impressive for a card without Dean Ambrose, Cesaro, Rusev or Ryback. It also set up several promising possibilities for SummerSlam which already looks like it might be the biggest WWE summer show in quite some time.

If you didn't see it, take advantage of the few days left on this month's free trial and watch the replay. You'll be glad you did.

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