Tonight was indeed a night, as that really awful song from Raw always tells us. WWE Battleground went down tonight and there was good, there was bad and oh yeah, there was a lot of ugly. That’s okay, because we watched it for you so we can tell you what to check out on the replay on WWE Network and what to avoid like the plague.
Funny how that works, right?
The pre-show actually had two, count ‘em two matches! Fandango took on Adam Rose and Naomi took on Cameron. Great way to toss in two worthless storylines from television over the past few weeks into the mix, I’d say. We’d probably skip this entirely, but it wasn’t exactly a half hour of my life that I regret.
The show then kicked off with the 2/3 Falls match for the WWE Tag Team Championship between the Wyatts and the Usos. Dear god did this deliver. If you watch nothing else from WWE Battleground, you check this match out no matter what. We won’t go as far as to say “match of the year” or anything close to that, but these guys have chemistry together and put together some tremendous finishing runs. This was really the match of the show and needs to be watched if you are a fan of wrestling.
We were supposed to get Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose next and instead we got Rollins backstage cutting a promo before Ambrose attacked him and Triple H ordered a bevvy of suited men to carry Ambrose out of the building and not allow him back in. I didn’t know that road agents were doubling as security guards now, I guess there were no beefy local wrestlers to pose as security for them this time around. This means that this match didn’t happen and we were all really bummed about it.
From here on out things get a little fuzzy and not that great. AJ Lee vs. Paige came up next and it was awesome that they got a different spot than the usual death/piss break one, but it was not awesome that they got about ten minutes (including entrances) to work and that the match fell apart a few times. A few of the spots looked like they were in slow motion or just didn’t work at all. I dunno, these two might not have any chemistry together or whomever laid this match out had no clue what to do with them.
Rusev vs. Jack Swagger had us all really concerned that they were going to talk about missiles and shooting down planes and they came really, really close to that. Like to a crazy degree, but held off, thankfully. The match happened and it was a fine hossfest, but no Big E hossfest. Everyone is starting to think that Big E is the hoss savior of the WWE right now. Jack Swagger takes a crazy looking whip into the ring post and gets counted out, which means this will keep happening. It’s Groundhog Day and we all are Bill Murray.
Seth Rollins came out to demand to have his hand raised and to be declared the winner over Ambrose by forfeit, which then happened. While walking to the back Ambrose jumped on Rollins and they had a pretty fun pull-apart brawl that spilled over into the crowd and onto the announce tables. It took half of the road agents in their tan suits to drag Ambrose out and kick him out once again. Really should have found local security, guys.
Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt was up next and this had potential to be the match of the event, but Chris Jericho is older, he’s part time and he hasn’t had a bigger match in a long time now. Every bit of this showed as he was slower with some of his “quick” spots and just isn’t able to do what he used to be able to. A super abrupt ending came when Jericho hit the Codebreaker out of nowhere and got a three-count to a rather muted crowd response. Not what anybody wanted, that’s for sure.
Rollins is being escorted out of the arena when Ambrose jumps out of his rental car trunk and another brawl ensues. Rollins speeds away finally and I guess we’ll get a great match at Summerslam but still bummed that we got all of this time dedicated to them tonight without, you know, a match.
The Intercontinental Battle Royal happened and there were some fun spots. In fact, Kofi Kingston had TWO fun spots in the match, which has to be some sort of Kofi Kingston battle royal record. Miz pulled the old Jerry Lawler trick of getting tossed out without getting tossed out and hid for the entirety of the match. Heath Slater was super, super over, which was kind of awesome, being one of the last guys left. It came down to Ziggler vs. Sheamus with Ziggler tossing Sheamus only for Miz to run back in and toss Ziggler out for a very heelish win.
The main event then, uh, happened. Look, we all knew that John Cena would win and that Roman Reigns would look like Superman and that is exactly what happened. The only thing was the finishing run looked identical to last month’s finishing run featuring pretty much the same guys. Finisher after finisher after finisher. It was ridiculous and goofy. They must have done the finisher, pin, guy comes in for the save spot about four times in a row before Cena AA’d Orton onto Kane and pinned Kane. The problem wasn’t #LOLCENAWINS but #LOLSTALEFINISHINGRUN.
Dave Walsh is a writer residing in Albuquerque, New Mexico who is best known for his work as a Kickboxing and Mixed Martial Arts journalist. His work has been featured on a number of publications, including BloodyElbow.com, MiddleEasy.com, CageSideSeats.com, Heavy.com as well as his own site, LiverKick.com.
His first novel, The Godslayer, is on sale now.