Last night’s PPV had easily one of the better cards we’ve seen since Summerslam 2014. In all fairness, the match quality was high for every single contest. Like I’ve said before, no show is perfect, and this wasn’t any different. For those that spent their Sunday watching Battleground know that the story lines themselves could have been handled better.
Randy Orton vs Sheamus
I thought it was smart to place this match first. Since Orton was wrestling in his home town, Sheamus was actually able to generate heat. By the use outside brawling and some drama, the two competitors drew me in. With a stale feud, they knew they had to captivate the audience somehow. The finishing sequence was easily my favorite part of the match, and at one point I thought Randy was going to lock in the gogoplata. The rope break spot was nerve racking, and served as the spot of the match. Overall, this was a brilliant way to start the show because these two men put on a solid show. With the crowd being that excited, there was no way this contest could fall flat.
The New Day vs The Primetime Players
The New Day always cut a similar promo, but it doesn’t get old. I giggled when Kofi started slapping Titus on the back of his head, a subtle but comedic spot. This was just another reason I wanted the New Day to win. Was it me or was Xavier Woods louder than normal? I’m not complaining, in fact it made the match much better. The spot of this contest was easily Big E’s apron splash onto Darren Young. The ending to this match was horrendous. The New Day is what made this worth watching, and that’s a sign that they should be carrying the titles. I thought the match was entertaining, the finish was just booked wrong.
Roman Reigns vs Bray Wyatt
This was also a well placed match. I was very pleased with their back and forth. When the match made its transition into the middle, Bray did a great job at giving Roman a beat down and Roman did just as good selling it. Bray’s beat down I feel are an extension of his character, because he finds a way to bring out the maniacal side of his personality. JBL said it best, he enjoys hurting people and he enjoys being hurt. The spot of the match was Wyatt’s counter of the apron dropkick. That spot always generate a reaction from me. While the match moved at a slower pace, I enjoyed it. The two made the most they could out of every every. Bray’s in ring psychology was again outstanding as he used a simple kick and clothesline to turn the momentum in his favor. At first I thought Sandow interfered, but popped after seeing Harper’s return .The finish was absolutely brilliant, because we’re finally getting the reunion of the Wyatt family.Believe it or not, this match had the most satisfying ending out of all matches on the show.
Sasha Banks vs Charlotte vs Nikki Bella
This match felt extremely fresh and exactly what this division needed. The opening wasn’t as smooth as I hoped it would be, but it was the first time both Sasha and Charlotte were competing with Brie. The spot of the match was Sasha’s double knee onto the other two competitors. While Bella is considered to be the bigger heel in this contest, Banks did a much better job at playing that role. Brie definitely wasn’t the strongest, but I did enjoy her spot with the kicks that garnered the yes chant. Even her double missile drop kick was impressive. The outside drama made everything feel more intense. All the simple things done in this match were a testament to how much of a tuneup the division needed. I actually expected Banks to pick up a cheap win, but I was happy with seeing Charlotte make Bella tap. Overall, solid contest and a step in the right direction.
John Cena vs Kevin Owens
This a very Owens-centric crowd, much more than I thought it would be. I’ve said it before, but a hot crowd can truly give a match that special feel. The way St.Louis was cheering, it felt like I was watching the main event. The match started slow, but it was so smooth that I didn’t even notice the transition to when they picked up the pace. Has Owens ever landed the swanton bomb? I feel like every time he executes it, someone puts their knees up to counter. What I love about the matches these two have is how they’ve allowed Cena to use different moves in his arsenal. The one that stood this time was the electric chair drop. Cena just made it look so easy. Owens continue’s to amaze me especially when he countered the top rope leg drop into a fluid powerbomb. The spot of this contest was Owens stealing Cena’s finishing combo. These days we don’t see wrestlers steal finishers, so it makes it much more dramatic when it happens. I have finally realized that Cena should stay away from that springboard stunner. Every now and then he lands it right, but when he doesn’t, it looks bad. To be honest, I was rooting for Owens, but I just knew Cena would win. Instead of having him tap, why not just end this one in a clean pin or DQ? It made sense for John to win, but not like that .The finish felt lackluster compared to the other matches they had. Also, I wouldn’t consider this to be the end of their epic feud.
Brock Lesnar vs Seth Rollins
The start of the match was exactly how I envisioned, Rollins eating a ton of suplexes. It was very fun to watch, mainly because Rollins knows how to sell these moves well. When Rollins got going, he came across as crafty. The few moves he got in showed us why his character holds the title. Unfortunately, it would be the only offense we’d see from him all night. Essentially, this was like watching someone play WWE 2K15 on easy mode. While I expected Seth to find a way to pin Lesnar clean, we found out the rumors were true about Taker. Honestly, I had completely forgotten Taker could have possibly interfered, so I was slightly caught off guard. For the most part I enjoyed the Deadman’s appearance, but I wish they had rung the bell for the DQ. Rollins could have also crawled in afterwards and picked up the cheap pin to get more heat. Instead the champion was made to look like a foot note at this PPV by not even being present afterwards.
From a work rate perspective, this was a great event. Every performer showed up to work looking to impress. The match quality was strong but something was missing, and that feeling came from the end of the show. It wasn’t a terrible ending, but it could have been handled better. With that being said, the low point of the show was Owens tapping, while the high point was the rest of that match. Overall, I give this show a 7.5/10. If the story lines were handled better, it could have easily been a 7.9 or an 8.