Welcome to LIVE coverage of WWE Battleground 2016!
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Kickoff match The Usos vs. breezango
RESULT: Breezango wins via pinfall; Breeze pinned Jey Uso with an inside cradle after countering a Samoan Splash.
THOUGHTS: A harmless, fun opener between the two Smackdown teams to pep the crowd up for the main show. The Usos are in desperate need of a revamp and perhaps a new finisher, though, as countering the Samoan Splash into a cradle pin has become far too predictable a finish for their matches.
WK KING OF PPV CHAMPIONSHIP: Ken - 0/9 Gus - 0/9 Maria - 0/9 Greg - (-1)/9 Nick - 0/9
#GetKennected #WWEBattleground #KickoffMatch
Charlotte (c) & Dana Brooke vs. Sasha Banks & Bayley
RESULTS: Sasha & Bayley win via submission; Sasha made Charlotte submit with the Banks Statement.
THOUGHTS: No surprise here, and a fantastic reception for Bayley; all around, a smart idea for the opener, as it gives the women a spotlight, gets the crowd pumped, and makes certain that Bayley's main roster debut is an impactful one, even if it's a one-shot deal for the time being.
The win makes absolute sense, and leaves no doubt storyline-wise that Sasha will be Charlotte's next challenger come SummerSlam
WK KING OF PPV CHAMPIONSHIP: Ken - 1/9 Gus - 1/9 Maria - 2/9 (LOCK) Greg - 1/9 (LOCK) Nick - 1/9
#GetKennected #WWEBattleground #ItsBayley
Non-Title 6-Man Tag Team Match The New Day (c) vs. The Wyatt Fmaily
RESULTS: The Wyatts win via pinfall; Bray pinned Woods following the Sister Abigail.
THOUGHTS: Firstly, I appreciated the realistic psychology played up between Xavier and Bray; Xavier admitted his fears in the weeks before, but still had a "devil" of a time facing Bray head on in this match, until the end where he seemingly conquered his fears by attacking Bray head on. Again, realistically speaking, fears don't vanish right away, as his fear popped up again at the very end, leading to Bray vanquishing him for the victory.
That being said, I'm a little mystified by the outcome, as I can only guess that SummerSlam, being one of the "Big 4" PPVs, will allow the Wyatts to make a cross-brand challenge for the tag team titles, hopefully with a freshly-returned Luke Harper in the ranks, as he'll make a far more effective and exciting partner for Rowan than Strowmann.
BTW, Big E really needs to stop doing that mid-rope spear before he cracks his head open.
WK KING OF PPV CHAMPIONSHIP: Ken - 1/9 Gus - 2/9 Maria - 2/9 Greg - 1/9 Nick - 3/9 (LOCK)
WWE United States Championship Rusev (c) w/Lana vs. Zack Ryder
RESULTS: Rusev wins via submission; Rusev made Ryder submit with the Accolade.
THOUGHTS: A shorter match than I was expecting, but they made it look interesting enough that Ryder might pull it off. We knew the outcome here though, regardless of the Nation's Capital or Ryder's Warrior-Savage-inspired ring gear, which was a nice little touch.
Rawley coming out post-match just confirms my thoughts on Ryder slipping into the tag team division following his mini-push towards the US Title. Regardless, good intense showing from Zack, although it could've used a couple more minutes,
WK KING OF PPV CHAMPIONSHIP: Ken - 3/9 (LOCK) Gus - 2/9 Maria - 3/9 Greg - 2/9 Nick - 3/9
#GetKennected #WWEBattleground #USTitle
Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
RESULTS: Sami Zayn wins via pinfall; Zayn pinned Owens following a pair of Helluva Kicks.
THOUGHTS: This was an insane match in every sense; emotionally, mentally, physically...that last aspect I especially can't get over, given the near match (and possibly career) ending spot with Zayn's misfired springboard off the ropes onto the ring apron, almost tearing the same shoulder that put him out last year. Scary spot there.
That aside, this was an unbelievable match from bell to bell; the ring chemistry between these two was impeccable, as can be expected from two long-time friends, translating into some fantastic counter-wrestling. Superkicks, powerbombs, creative variations on their usual spots, and especially Zayn giving Owens a taste of revenge with that SICK Brainbustahhh! on the ring apron.
The ending had some great fire to it as well, with Owens actually begging Zayn to stay down, only to fire him up with several slaps, leading to Zayn pulling a Lesnar and suplexing Owens out of his boots before decisively putting him away with two Helluva Kicks to put a stamp on what was an overall fantastic match. If this is the end (at least for the time being), it was a HELLUVA way to sign things off between Zayn and Owens.
WK KING OF PPV CHAMPIONSHIP: Ken - 4/9 Gus - 2/9 Maria - 3/9 Greg - 3/9 Nick - 3/9
RESULTS: Natalya wins via submission; Natalya made Becky submit with the Sharpshooter.
THOUGHTS: Not what I would call an enviable position following the white-hot match between Owens and Zayn, but Nattie and Becky put together a serviceable match here to cool down the DC crowd; simple but effective work on the leg, and a nice little veteran vs. rookie dynamic, Natalya showing that for all that she taught Becky, she didn't teach her everything that Nattie knew.
Other than the right result tonight, it's still a big question mark as to the ultimate outcome here concerning Nattie, Becky and the other Smackdown women and the situation concerning a possible second Women's Championship and whether the roster will be suitably big enough to have one...
WK KING OF PPV CHAMPIONSHIP: Ken - 5/9 Gus - 2/9 Maria - 3/9 Greg - 4/9 Nick - 4/9
WWE Intercontinental Championship The Miz (c) w/Maryse vs. Darren Young w/Bob Backlund
RESULT: The match ended in a double DQ; the match was called following interference between Backlund and Maryse.
THOUGHTS: This was a very middle-of-the-road match for me; on the one hand, Miz and Darren didn't really do anything wrong, Maryse played her role well as per usual, and Mr. Backlund brought some much-needed manic energy to pep the audience back up.
On the other hand, the match didn't really do anything to convince me that Darren could conceivably take the title home, and the crowd seemed aware of that as well. The double DQ doesn't help matters either, as it doesn't make Darren look like a credible future challenger, and his little post-match impression of Backlund makes me wonder if they're serious about his singles push or simply peddling him as a photo-negative caricature of Backlund.
All I can really take from this is that it will somehow continue into SummerSlam, possibly with another competitor or two thrown into the mix.
WK KING OF PPV CHAMPIONSHIP: (Due to the Double DQ, results remain the same) Ken - 5/9 Gus - 2/9 Maria - 3/9 Greg - 4/9 Nick - 4/9
#GetKennected #WWEBattleground #ICTitle
Six-Man Tag Team match John Cena, Enzo & Big Cass vs. The Club
RESULTS: Cena, Enzo & Cass win via pinfall; Cena pinned Styles following a second-rope Attitude Adjustment.
THOUGHTS: Can we all just agree that Enzo Amore is plain awesome? He could honestly fill three hours of RAW on the mic, and it'd be infinitely more entertaining...
Anyway, the crowd was really into Enzo and Cass throughout the match, sometimes to the point it felt like the Club and Cena were kind of just there, which I actually don't have a problem with; Cena winning over AJ keeps their feud running towards SummerSlam, Enzo and Cass actually come out shining like stars instead of the usual burn some get from teaming with John, and the Enzo-Cass-Club feud can still do its thing on RAW, perhaps even with top prospect Finn Balor tossed into the mix as the Club's new "leader."
All in all, a fun 6-man tag match that had no real losers coming out of it, well, other than the Club, how you doin'?
WK KING OF PPV CHAMPIONSHIP: Ken - 5/9 Gus - 3/9 Maria - 4/9 Greg - 4/9 Nick - 4/9
WWE Championship Triple Threat Match Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins
RESULTS: Dean Ambrose wins via pinfall; Ambrose pinned Reigns following a Dirty Deeds DDT.
THOUGHTS: When I saw the GMs and Commishes out at the beginning, I was worried we'd see some usual main event shenanigans from the McMahons; thankfully, that never came to pass, and we got a clean and decisive finish. (On a commentary note, it was actually rather funny hearing JBL waffling back and forth on whether he wanted to root for Ambrose or did it because he had to for brand pride's sake).
The first half of the match played out more like WWE's typical "triple threat" psychology of two men in, one man out. Obviously, the chemistry among the three former Shield brethren goes without saying, so it wasn't bad, but it dragged at times. Then the second gear kicked in, and the match really picked up; lots of great callback spots (The Shield bomb through the announcers' table, Seth nailing both men with steel chairs, the early fistbump attempt, etc.), good fluid transitions, and plenty of great near falls.
This is one of those times I was happy to be wrong, as Ambrose retaining was definitely the right move here; you send the WWE Championship to Smackdown, which gives the brand a little bit of instant gratification, and Ambrose comes out looking like a million bucks with pinfalls over both of his former Shield mates in the same week and effectively cements himself at the top of the Smackdown roster.
While Rollins could lay claim to a future title shot versus Ambrose by not being pinned here, we'll most likely see him and Reigns tango for the returning World Heavyweight Championship over on RAW going into SummerSlam.
WK KING OF PPV CHAMPIONSHIP: Ken - 5/9 Gus - 5/9 (LOCK) Maria - 4/9 Greg - 4/9 Nick - 5/9