WWE Battleground took place on Sunday 23rd July at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The last couple of Smackdown PPVs have not been great so will Battleground be an improvement? Let's take a look.
The match on the Pre Show was Aiden English taking on Tye Dillinger. Early on, Dillinger uses some impressive technical skill before he gets headbutted then kneed in the back. English goes to get the win after hitting The Director's Cut. Quite a surprising victory for English but it was a decent match between the two.
Winner: Aiden English (0 for 1)
The first match on the show is for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship as The New Day challenge The Usos. The Usos start to wear down Xavier Woods with cheap shots and double team moves. Woods his a missile dropkick, giving him the chance to tag in Kofi Kingston. The match goes back and forth with The Usos coming close a couple of times. The New Day then almost win it after hitting The Midnight Hour. In the end, Kofi hits Trouble in Paradise on Jimmy followed by an top rope elbow drop by Woods from the other side of the ring to get the win.This match was awesome to watch with so many near falls. A great way to start the show.
Winner: The New Day (1 for 2)
The next match is Shinsuke Nakamura taking on Mr Money in the Bank Baron Corbin. Corbin gets the advantage, wearing down Nakamura with moves such as a bearhug. Nakamura stuns Corbin to get out of a chokeslam and starts to make a comeback. The end comes Nakamura goes for an exploder suplex and Corbin hits a low blow, getting himself disqualified. Er...what? Afterwards, Corbin hits Nakamura with The End of Days. There was a cool spot when Corbin reverses a Kinshasa into a Deep Six, otherwise the match was pretty poor. Also I don't get the booking decision. I understand that you want to make The Money in the Bank winner has to look strong. However, there have been times when previous winners have lost clean, Daniel Bryan being a prominent example. So, why is Baron Corbin any different?
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura (1 for 3)
We now get to determine who will face Naomi at Summerslam for the Smackdown Women's Championship as Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Lana, Natalya and Tamina face each other in a 5-Way Elimination Match. Becky puts Lana in the Dis-arm-her twice but her buddy Tamina saves her both times. Becky eventually gets Tamina then Lana to submit to the Dis-arm-her. However, Natalya immediately rolls up Becky to eliminate her. In the end, Natalya rolls Charlotte head first into the bottom turnbuckle and pins her to win the match? Er...what? The match was going at a decent pace but we suddenly had 3 eliminations in less than 40 seconds then a pretty shitty ending. As for Natalya winning, part of me is happy for her and I think her match with Naomi could be pretty good. However, I feel that the majority of the fans would have preferred Charlotte instead.
Winner: Natalya (1 for 4)
Next is Kevin Owens challenging AJ Styles for the United States Championship. Styles accidentally hits the barricade, giving Owens the chance to send him into the ring post and get the advantage. Styles does eventually make a comeback and after some and forth, Owens sends Styles flying into the referee. Styles has Owens in a crossface but it's reversed into a pin and Owens wins. The match was pretty good but the ending came out of nowhere. There are rumours that the referee fucked up or the decision for Owens to win was very last minute. Despite that, congratulations to Kevin Owens.
Winner: Kevin Owens (1 for 5)
We now get an old school flag match as Rusev takes on John Cena. Well, I thought it was. In order to win, you have to grab your flag then plant it on a pedestal by the entrance way. Rusev is the first one to get his flag after reversing a missile dropkick into a powerbomb. After taking out Rusev with a STF, Cena grabs his flag. The match goes up to the pedestals and Rusev stops Cena from planting his flag. Instead of chucking it into the crowd, Rusev goes to grab his flag and comes very close to planting it. In the end, Cena hits an AA from the pedestal, sending Rusev through 2 tables. Cena then plants his flag to get the win. Except for the ending, the match was ok, nothing special.
Winner: John Cena (2 for 6)
After an awesome episode of The Fashion Files, we get our penultimate match which is Mike Kanellis taking on Sami Zayn. Maria Kanellis stops Sami from hitting a suicide dive, giving Mike the chance to gain the advantage. Sami does get back into it and despite Maria interfering again, gets the win with a Helluva Kick. The match was too short and whilst I'm happy for Sami getting the win, I really think that Mike should have won.
Winner: Sami Zayn (2 for 7)
The main event is Randy Orton challenging Jinder Mahal in a Punjabi Prison Match for the WWE Championship. Early on, they both try to go through one of the inner doors but they don't do it within the 60 second time limit.The Singh Brothers turn up from under the ring and help Mahal go through an inner door. They go on to interfere and Orton fucks them up as usual, including sending Samir off the outer cage through the announce table. It looks like that Orton is going to climb out to win when The Great Khali makes his triumphant(?) return and stops Orton from climbing any further. That gives Mahal the chance to climb out of the outer cage and win the match.
I thought that this match was pretty boring and I struggled to see what was going at times. As for The Great Khali returning, I mean for fuck's sake. I understand that WWE want to expand into the Indian market but bringing back the worst wrestler that I have ever seen to do that? Really?
Winner: Jinder Mahal (3 for 8)
I honestly think that Battleground is the worst show of the year and possibly the worst show that I have ever reviewed. Some of the wrestling was good but some of the creative decisions and the endings are really shitty at times. At times, the RAW shows weren't great but not to this level. With Summerslam coming up, I hope that WWE pull their finger out and make a vast improvement. Hopefully it won't get any worse.