Welcome to another PPV review. This time it’s Battleground and dare I say it? This is the show of the year so far for the main roster in WWE!
Believe in the Shield
Let’s start this off by levelling out some expectations. There was no way this was going to live up to the hype of a Shield triple threat that people had in their minds for years. Saying that, they worked their asses off to make it as good as possible considering the circumstances. Reigns got popped for a wellness violation a month ago which hurt the build of the match going into the show, but with these guys all in the ring I’m already sold. Call backs to the Shield powerbomb and the chair shot heard ’round the WWE Universe were great touches in the match. The main thing coming out of this was Dean Ambrose is your champion with no ifs ands or buts. He beat Roman Reigns clean in the middle of the ring. Surely they’ll have Rollins argue he didn’t lose his title, got cheated out of it and didn’t take the fall again here, but Dean Ambrose is still your champion and he did it clean as a whistle. On a side note, between the CWC and his work in backstage segments Daniel Bryan has secretly become one of the best talkers in the company since his retirement speech.
The Viper is Back
I’m not going to front so I’ll say it, I’m not much of a Randy Orton guy. I’m especially not a fan of firey babyface Randy Orton so this didn’t do much for me outside of Jericho showing he’s one of the best heels in the business. Orton came, the segment was too long, he RKOd, he left. Oh, but before he left he decided to drop a little jab Lesnar’s way about “no enhancements needed.” Pretty rich coming from Mr. Three Strikes himself.
Enzo Amore is a star. Sadly in WWE’s system there’s as many or more NXT talent that’s come up and floundered out of the gate than caught fire. This isn’t the case for Enzo and Cass. They’ve been over since the word go. Let Enzo have a mic for as long as he wants and I’ll be throughly entertained. Also, that cutoff by Anderson during the match was stunning. The match itself was a means to an end and all parties did their part. Cena getting the pin here felt a bit off, but it makes sense in the typical John Cena vs New Guy feud they’ve been doing for a while guy. One win for the new guy, two for John. This does lead nicely to what should be the blowoff at SummerSlam.
Crazy Old Bob Backlund
The match didn’t do much for me and the finish really did suck, but everything around it was brilliant. From Miz and Maryse’s entrance attire to Bob Backlund being Bob Backlund. I’m not sure why he decided he needed to rip off his bowtie and attempt to rip off his shirt then flail around and scream when that failed, but it was amazing. Backlund going nuts also led to Michael Cole dropping his guard for a moment to make one of the best calls of his career, “I…I have no idea what’s going on.”
Becky the Underdog
I’m not exactly sure what the end goal is for Becky Lynch. She’s arguably the best worker in her division and is now taking clean losses from…Natalya? The match was well worked, mind you, it’s just that you can only beat someone so long before you go from sympathetic to the character just being a loser. Hopefully WWE will even the ship on Lynch because she’s too good.
The Draft really confused me for multiple reasons and one of the most glaring was not splitting up Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. Their feud would’ve come to a natural end due to he simple fact they’ll be working different shows every week. For some reason they’re both on Raw so they’ll run into each other all the time presumedly. With all that said this was one of the matches of the year. Easily. Zayn vs Nakamura is slightly above for me, but this match was IT. They actually managed to make this feel like a blowoff where although they’ll be on the same show they can go their separate ways and focus on titles. Give me Rusev vs Zayn and Kevin Owens vs Super Babyface Seth Rollins for the rest of the year. A boy can dream can’t he?
Not That Hyped
So Ryder put in a good effort and lost just like he should. Mojo showed up to scream at Rusev who looked at him like he was a joke. Rusev is officially the People’s Champion in my mind for that reaction. Again, has anyone explained why people like Nakamura, Itami, Joe, Bayley, Asuka, The Revival, Aries, Dillinger weren’t called up before Mojo?
The Wyatts Won a Match
For whatever reason Braun Strowman is being separated from the Wyatts so this is his blowoff victory with them. I can almost guarantee he flounders on his own. Regardless there was some excellent character work here by Bray Wyatt and Xavier Woods and the match was a lot of fun. Seriously, though, Big E stop trying to paralyze yourself with that diving spear. There could be some cracks in the New Day foundation after this so it’ll be interesting to see who they’re paired up with for their next program heading into SummerSlam. I think the Club would look fantastic with those tag belts. How about you Finn?
But seriously. The Wyatts WON!
Hey We Got Some Bayley!
The obvious choice isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes it’s the best thing ever. This is how you start a show! Bayley and Sasha worked great together, Sasha got the win to advance her story with Charlotte into SummerSlam, Bayley will be back to face Sasha after SummerSlam. All is well in the world! Seriously, I couldn’t have loved this more.
The Usos aren’t really my thing and Breezango really, really ARE my thing. All the guys involved put on a fun little match and I’m so happy that the right team won.
Overall this show was a bit of a mess, but there was so much to love. Bayley, crazy Bob Backlund, Enzo & Cass, the Wyatts winning for once, KO/Zayn as a MOTY candidate and Dean Ambrose is still your champion. Best show of the year in a walk.
Lake’s Take: 8/10