WWE Battleground: Results and Match Ratings
Battleground emanated from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The show was marked by the return of the Punjabi Prison Match, a giant bamboo structure that is more effective in preventing the audience from seeing the action than instilling dread and imminent doom in fans. Once again, seemingly all of the Smackdown Live Women’s Division is lumped into the same un-interesting match. But, hey – this is the last stop before Summerslam, so LET’S GOOOOO!!!
Kickoff Show: Aiden English defeated Tye Dillinger – English is freakin’ great in this role. He came out to sing and work the crowd into a disgusted fervor. When Tye Dillinger’s music hit, the place gave him a nice pop. Given how flat Dillinger has fallen since his main roster debut, give English some credit for that pop. Nonetheless, these two have some good chemistry. Though it’s been played out, these Kickoff Show matches haven’t been bad. I was happy to see English get the win, but can’t help but wonder what they actually want to do with Dillinger. Rating: 6/10.
WWE Tag Team Championship: The New Day defeated The Usos – These two teams have some solid chemistry, and given the turbulent nature of SmackDown Live’s Tag Team Division, are the logical choice to be the flag bearers of the division. That said, these two teams have been at the forefront of tag team wrestling for the past two years. I hope we get some new blood competing for the titles at Summerslam. As for this match itself, it was absolutely phenomenal – one of the best tag team contests of the year. Rating: 8.5/10.
Shinsuke Nakamura def. Baron Corbin (via disqualification) – I thought this was rather underwhelming. I mean, the story heading into this match was built-in, but it didn’t click. This match was physical, but a bit plodding. The DQ finish protects both guys, and this looks like a one-off pay-per-view program. I imagine they’ll have one good match on SmackDown and then start gearing up for Summerslam. But, for the most part, this match was outright boring. Rating: 3/10.
5-Way Elimination, #1 Contender’s Match: Natalya def. Lana, Tamina Snuka, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte Flair – Good for Natalya. I hope she actually get’s the SmackDown Women’s Championship at Summerslam. As far as this match goes, it was fun. I thought it showcased the division pretty well, though I don’t think it would kill ’em to have more than one storyline going in the Womens Division. Natalya vs. Naomi should deliver at Summerslam. Rating: 7/10.
United States Championship: Kevin Owens def. A.J. Styles – These two are proof that just because each man is one of the best in the world, we aren’t guaranteed a five-star match. It was good, don’t get me wrong – but it wasn’t great. Owens getting the win should tell us that Styles’ initial U.S. Championship win really was simply about boosting interest in house shows. The program between these two doesn’t appear to be over, but I can’t imagine round three will take place at Summerslam. Rating: 6.5/10.
Flag Match: John Cena defeated Rusev – Some of the action here was good, especially once they took it out of the ring. But, for the most part, it was slow and boring. The U.S. vs. any foreign country is overplayed, but it’s an angle as old as wrestling itself, so don’t expect it to go away any time soon. At least it feels that way. Nothing refreshing about this match at all, but props to our boy Rusev for taking that killer bump on the AA through the tables. Rating: 5/10
Sami Zayn def. Mike Kanellis – What a fun little filler match. I’m digging the Kanellis’ gimmick, and Zayn is the perfect guy to kick off Mike and Maria’s Smackdown career. Not much else to say here – this is what you want a palette cleanser to look like. Rating: 6/10
WWE Championship, Punjabi Prison Match: Jinder Mahal def. Randy Orton – All night, “Nature Boy” Brandon Vick and I were waiting with bated breath for The Great Khali to show up. Thankfully, he did. Outside of Randy Orton beating up teenagers, there wasn’t a whole hell of a lot to like about this match. Whether it’s a full-time return or not, the finish to this match was great. I don’t care if it looks like Khali has done nothing but drink Budweiser since retiring. Rating: 5.5/10.
Overall Rating: 4/10 – It wasn’t the worst show I’ve ever seen, but it was far from a great one, especially considering the strong showing Raw had at Great Balls of Fire two weeks ago. No ‘Match of the Year’ contenders by any means, but there have also been a couple of shows this year that were worse. At this point, I’m just ready for Summerslam and a change of scenery for some of Smackdown’s stars.
Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network. A strong advocate of GSD (get shit done) and #BeBetter, he’s down to talk Tennessee Titans and Alabama Crimson Tide football over a beer any day. Check him out covering the WWE for WrestlingNews.co. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley, @WrestlingNewsCo