Last Blue PPV stop before SummerSlam. If Battleground can offer the same level of surprises on an quite expected card, like Great Balls of Fire did 2 weeks ago, the WWE Universe would find back its faith in the company and its ability to offer a good PPV product.
On the pre-show, surprisingly, El Maestro Aiden English defeated Tye Dillinger. Dillinger had control of almost all the match but English’s game of poses and singing in the middle of the match may have distracted Dillinger enough to cost him the match. So English’s song in this match was a swan song for Dillinger… Not a good match, not a bad match, well match…
Who would have expected SmackDown Tag Team Championship match to be Match of the night ? Xavier Woods honestly did a hell of a job to counter every Usos’ interventions. We could talk about the fact Woods’ outfit was very similar to his TNA one, when he was Consequences Creed, but let’s talk wrestling. Woods took control of the match very earlier and offered a great team work with Kingston. Kofi was on fire but Woods was really on his own when the twins powerbombed Kingston onto the ringside floor. Woods had no choice but to strive and resist. Big E stayed at ringside, letting his partners do their way. After a Trouble in Paradise from Kofi, Woods earned the victory with a coast-to-coast massive elbow drop. Not only for the first time Woods has offered a win to his team, but he also has made it the first team to become RAW and SmackDown champions.
Shinsuke Nakamura claimed he was not afraid of Corbin and wanted a revenge for the shots he has taken over the last few weeks. What could have been a great fight became mediocre. Corbin punched, bear hugged, kicked and even sent Nakamura into the barrier. And Nakamura tried to reply with his classic stiff kicks but all of his attempts were countered by the punching machine Corbin was yesterday. When Nakamura was finally able to gain the momentum, Corbin hit a low blow and was disqualified. A match to forget and a storyline that deserved to go somewhere, excepted below the belt. French commentators (Miss Frenchy was watching live from home…) were asking themselves if Nakamura’s arrival on the main roster was a hit or a miss. For the moment, it’s a big miss. Where is the Nakamura we used to love in NXT, the strong style master ? It may be a case from Breezango…
What was Lana doing in this Fatal Five-Way Elimination match to determine the future #1 contender for SmackDown Women’s Championship, it could be another mystery to solve for Breezango… You could easily feel the tension in the ring just before the bell was rung. The match offered good, strong action. Lana and Tamina made a good team work on Charlotte outside the ring, then Tamina connected with a superkick on Becky and a Samoan Drop on Natalya. Not enough as Becky Lynch eliminated both of them with The Disarmer. An impressive Natalya eliminated Becky with a roll up, got her knees up when Charlotte Flair was landing from a moonsault to eliminate The Queen and earn the title match at Summerslam.
Naomi came to the ring to congratulate Natalya but she refused the handshake. The Summerslam title match should be a solid heel vs. face title match.
We supposed it would be the match of the match, AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens for the US title was the major disappointement of the night. Things started quite well, Owens expressed his frustration as Styles was clearly on control. But Owens suddenly rallied and was about to put Styles in dangerous situations. But here came THE moment, Owens tossed Styles into the referee when countering the Styles Clash. Owens hit a massive superkick on Styles who was able to drop him in the Calf Crusher in the middle of the ring. But the referee was still recovering. Owens applied a Crossface on AJ, but Styles turned it over and applied it on Owens. But Owens countered it into a pin for the win. Little problem, the referee didn’t Styles’ right shoulder was not on the mat…
Styles' shoulder was up but referee didn't see it from his perspective. pic.twitter.com/yLDvV1iP1f
— NoDQ.com – WWE Money in the Bank 2018 News #MITB (@nodqdotcom) July 24, 2017
Owens is now a 3-time United States Champion. But the story is not going to be over as the “shoulder controversy” may bring Styles and Owens to another encounter. We’ll see on SmackDown Live on Tuesday but may this possible new match be way better than this one…
A flag match between John Cena and Rusev, didn’t we witness that 2 or 3 years ago? This strange flavour of Cold War mixed with a feeling of “déjà vu” led us to a quite good match. Of course the American Superhero won but Handsome Rusev made him suffer, a lot. The Bulgarian brute was the first to grab his flag but he also had to reach the finish line… Action in the ring was classic but the road to the finish line was way much tougher. Cena dropped Rusev through tables with a AA, after a few Accolades from Rusev on the ramp, placed the flag on the podium and won the match. Nothing new under the sun… again…
Fandango Mulder and Tyler Scully were supposed to find out who destroyed their office in “The Fashion X-Files”. The Asension came in and took credit for it, but it didn’t work. As mystery was still complete, lights turned off and the noises of an attack were heard. When the lights went on, both Fandango and Breeze were lying on the floor, and someone was dragging Fandango away…
The Huey Lewis moment of the night… Which “Power of Love” was going to prevail ? The Kanellis “teenagers don’t even do it like that” way or the Sami Zayn “old fashion” way ? Mike Kanellis filled us with wonder with his ridiculous attire, as he was wearing the face of his wife on his jacket, the body of his wife on his pants’ leg and his wife’s lips on his butt… Maria of course tried to change the course of the match twice, but Sami Zayn seemed to be prepared for it. Zayn earned the win with a helluva kick the good old Sami way. And proved his Power of Love is as worthy as the “shmoopy-shmoopy” Kanellis one.
Only the third Punjabi Prison “Hell in a Bamboo cell” match in WWE history (The Great Khali who created it was supposed to be involved in both matches but he was replaced in the very first one by The Big Show against The Undertaker at Great American Bash 2006, he then failed to win the World Heavyweight Championship against Batista at No Mercy 2007). So fortune hasn’t favoured the Punjab wrestler in this kind of match. But when they are four, the story is definitely not the same…
People at ringside honestly couldn’t have any chance to watch the action correctly, even cameramen struggled to caption it the best way. The action in the first cage was classic, even boring. When all the doors were locked down and action went on the second cage, a supposedly no-intervention match transformed into a huge mess. Because The Singh Brothers were hidden under the ring they helped Mahal get out the the first cage throught the last opened door, forcing Orton to climb it and get trapped in a Punjab hell. Here went an unnecessary and messy 3-on-1 fight that seemed to last forever. Thumbs up to the bump taken by Samir Singh, who fell from the top of Prison straight into the US announce table, the Shane O’Mac way. When Orton was on his way to get out of the cage, Mahal’s music was heard and, surprise, another Punjab wrestler, The Great Khali, appeared. As Mahal was getting out of the cage, Khali choked Orton through the structure, preventing Orton from winning the match. Too much ado for nothing as The Punjabi Prison brought nothing new to its never-ending storyline.
Some will say it was the worst PPV of the year. For sure, it was not the best. Mostly when disappointment comes from the must-see matches, like the US and WWE titles ones. Surprinsingly, match of the night was SmackDown Tag Team titles one. Summerslam is in just 4 weeks and, to be honest, it’s not going to be a night to remember if WWE persists in offering that quality of PPV matches, disappointing, boring and/or predictable.
Battleground Full Results:
Pre-Show Match: Aiden English defeated Tye Dillinger
SmackDown Tag Team Championship: The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) defeated The Usos (c)
Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Baron Corbin by disqualification
Fatal 5 Way Elimination Match for #1 contendership for SmackDown Women’s Championship: Natalya defeated Lana, Tamina, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair
United States Championship: Kevin Owens defeated AJ Styles (c)
Flag Match: John Cena defeated Rusev
Sami Zayn defeated Mike Kanellis w/Maria
Punjabi Prison Match for the WWE Championship: Jinder Mahal (c) defeated Randy Orton
All pics courtesy of WWE.com