Wednesday, August 3, 2016

WWE Battleground 2016

(Note: The majority of this post was written this past Sunday, with minor touch-ups here and there.)

So... finally got around to watch that Battleground PPV that ultimately means nothing because nothing of note happened on that show and everyone was focused on that Draft the previous Tuesday where all the good talent got stuck with RAW and Smackdown is left with Dolph Ziggler. Unless you count Bayley popping up as "something happening."

For context, this PPV happened shortly after WWE held its first Draft in years, once again making RAW and Smackdown separate brands. I give it about a couple weeks before they give up and start messing with the formula, but in any event, most of the promotion was towards the Draft and this show became more of an afterthought. Also, your main event was WWE champion Dean Ambrose defending former Shield stablemates Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, but sadly Reigns violated a Wellness Policy and was gone for the entire time they were building towards this match. Oops.

Anyway, on with the show. I don't do pre-shows.

Sasha Banks and (Not At All A) Mystery Partner Bayley defeated Baby Flair and Dana Brooke in a so-so tag-team match. Fine for an opener and certainly a good appetizer for the eventual Banks/Flair match that would end up happening the very next night with Banks winning the title. Yep. Bayley got a nice reaction, at least. No worries about her as far as that front is concerned. Her booking, on the other hand? I have no faith.

The Wyatts defeated the New Day in a match that felt like a waste of time. Despite the "glorious" ten minute recap video as well as the "Wyatt Compound" video that people say is a rip off of the Hardy's "Final Excretion" video, this felt completely and utterly worthless. Xavier claiming he no longer fears Bray Wyatt and yet still jobbing is stupid. Even more confounding is the claim that New Day are now the longest reigning tag-team champions in history, which is an outright lie. (Demolition, kids. Look 'em up.)

Speaking of wastes of time, U.S. champion Rusev defeated Zack Ryder (in his pandering USA-themed trunks) to retain the title in a glorified squash, as if anyone was the least bit surprised that this was the end result. But I guess we needed a reason to debut fellow Hype Bro Mojo Rawlings to the main roster.

Sami Zayn defeated Kevin Owens in what I can safely say is Match Of the Show. Call me bias because both guys are Quebecois asti, but this was a damn fine match from two guys who have worked each other since forever. No complaints here whatsoever.

Nattie defeated Becky Lynch in a Divas match... as in the obligatory piss break match. I'm sorry, but the wheels have fallen off Becky and as for Nattie, any hope of her being involved in anything remotely interesting has become dilapidated.

Intercontinental champion Miz defeated Darren Young via DQ when Young had Miz locked in the chickenwing and wouldn't let go... because Young snapped, son. I'm still trying to get the point of this whole "Make Darren Young Great Again" thing with Bob Backlund. In a way, I'm glad that Young isn't being pushed as "the gay wrestler" but I kinda wish they gave him something better than ol' Bobby Backlund losing his marbles again. I'm surprised Backlund isn't doing another presidential run or something.

John Cena, Enzo, and Big Cass defeated A.J. Styles, Karl Anderson, and Luke Gallows when Cena pinned A.J. For a last Club match, this felt somewhat underwhelming. Not as great as I would've liked, but still fine for what it was, I suppose.

There's an interview segment between Chris Jericho and the returning Randy Orton, who somehow managed to make it to the ring without hurting a hair folicle that might put him out of action for another six to eight months. Too long, too drawn out, and I especially like the bit where Orton claimed "No enhancement needed" as a pot shot towards Brock; somewhat funny considering Orton has been known to fail Wellness Tests. Pot. Kettle. Black. And. That. Sort. Of. Thing.

This show's running over three hours again, isn't it? FUCK THIS COMPANY.

And finally, in what seemed like a genuine surprise, WWE champion Dean Ambrose defeated Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns (returning from suspension) when Dean pinned Roman. I was almost fairly certain that Rollins or even Reigns (returning from suspension) would win the title back, but Ambrose retaining and bringing the title to Smackdown was a nice little ending. In another time and another place, the Shield Triple Threat would've been a great match for a 'Mania or a Summerslam. But after watching it here, it's probably a good thing that they kept it on a B-show. Rollins and Ambrose tearing shit up was a highlight and anything involving Reigns seemed to have killed the crowd. Not to mention Rollins and Ambrose had a fine enough match on Smackdown that this felt superfluous and the addition of Reigns detracted more than it added.

Yeah, so this was a thing that happened, I guess. Not bad, but not great. Zayn/Owens was good stuff, Cena's crew vs. A.j.'s crew wasn't too bad, and you might get some worth out of the women's tag match, but the rest can be buried six feet under and nobody would notice.

Oh well.

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