*Note: I usually type these reflections as I watch the show, keep that in mind as you journey back through Battleground with me
Randy Orton Vs Sheamus
Whenever I scoff at a match, I always hope to be wrong. This is not one of those cases. The match was nothing spectacular although Orton did look like he took a pretty nasty brough kick. And it was nice to see Orton play off his home town crowd.
WWE Tag team Championship
Prime Time Players Vs New Day
This match didn’t quite get the time I was hoping for but still had some nice spots. The Big E splash on the apron was pretty awesome and Xavier is the best cheerleader in the history of WWE. I wanted more from this match but I’ll take what I can get.
Roman Reigns Vs Bray Wyatt
Re-watching the package before this match, I really enjoy the “anyone but you” mantra which reflexes on how the WWE universe feels, we want anyone but Reigns on top. Maybe that gave Bray motivation to stop Roman from winning MitB. He also had a Joker like vibe when he says “we need each other”. Somewhere along the middle of the match, Bray capitalized on Reigns over eagerness and took complete control of the match in an oddly satisfying fashion. The type of moves Bray was using showed how little the character of Bray cares about his opponents, or even cares about how he wins. If he beats Reigns down enough to win by count out, he’ll take it. Reigns continued to take a beating a majority of the match and something that really bothered me was the only offense Reigns got in towards the end was his signature moves. This just shows how limited Reigns is in his move set and signifies the end of the match is near. Nothing to exciting. Wyatt hit some power moves like a monster of a boot and an amazing clothesline while Reigns went full speed which I would have actually enjoyed being the end of the match, that’s just how powerful it looked. There was some nice character development when Reigns started to resort to his chairs and then in a twist I didn’t see coming, Luke Harper attacked Reigns to give Wyatt the win and reunite with his former brethren. This is the right move. If Luke Harper is going to have roughly the same character he did when he was with Bray, there is no reason for him to be on his own. Plus, it gives Roman and Dean a better excuse to team up again.
Triple Threat Match
Sasha Banks Vs Charlotte Vs Brie Bella
This would almost be the perfect match except there is a Bella in it. Michael Cole on commentary was kind of annoying because he had to explain all of the NXT gimmicks as the match was going on, and remind us of the history the NXT women have with each other. I will admit I am biased, but this match did nothing but show Brie does not belong in the same ring as the two NXT divas. Brie’s offense consisted mostly of basic moves like punches, kicks, bulldogs etc. (Although her Daniel Bryan like kicks did get a little bit of a markout moment from me), Charlotte and Sasha seemed to look like they actually learned different types of slams and counters. Maybe I am just use to how the divas wrestle but they really were just a breath of fresh air. The end seemed like it took the energy out of the match as Sasha and Charlotte had to show they can dive to the outside, it was just strange and I felt it was unnecessary. I am happy that this match didn’t make me want to stretch my legs and actually kept my attention. Can’t wait for the singles matches between the NXT women.
United States Championship
John Cena Vs Kevin Owens
Owens music hits and I get just a bit sad, I wish I was in the arena but alas, other engagements kept me at home watching it on the WWE network, I just hope that maybe possibly I can be at Kevin Owens first WWE championship match. Owens barbs before the match are the reason he is so loved by the IWC “Come on John, we know the act, we’ve seen it for ten years” The in ring work again was superb. Cena was countering moves that he was once crippled with. They also found new ways to hit some of their more prominent moves. Like Cena lifting Owens on his shoulders for a face buster turning it into an STF, and Owens just pushing Cena to the mat to his a full body splash. And I am so proud to have heard, which I think was the first time, a “lets go Cena” chant countered with “fight Owens fight”. Commentary was again comical, like JBL saying “you don’t see many people kick out of that move from Cena” when everyone kicks out of it, and JBL also saying “That was like a version of Owens pop up power bomb” when really we just call it a power bomb. And like I alluded to in my preview article, The thing that makes these matches so exciting are you really don’t know who is going win. You can’t predict a match like this which just speaks volumes to how Owens has been booked the last two months. During the multiple false finishes my heart was pounding, even thinking foolishly that maybe, just maybe Cena was going to tap. Kind of like the divas match, you see the difference in an indie guy like Owens compared to Cena. Cena is using some tired moves while Owens pulls out moves that even the commentary team doesn’t have names for. I don’t think this is a bad thing, just different. I am dumb founded that Owens kicked out of a super AA, I sunk in my chair thinking that was it. Cena sold the kick out like the pro he is. He had nothing left after that. What do you do when your most powerful move from seven feet higher doesn’t work? And then Owens taps out and now I am sad. I thought Owens really was going to take it. It was once again an incredible match, and I can’t wait until WrestleMania when Owens gets even more time to put on a clinic. And if that match is against, Cena, I’ll watch it ten times over.
WWE Heavyweight Championship
Seth Rollins VS Brock Lesnar
Let me start off by saying, like everyone else, I wish Rollins still used the curb stomp. I love Rollins trying to stare down Lesnar like he isn’t terrified. I mean, I can’t blame him. He is a terrifying fellow. I’m crossing the street when I see him walking towards me. I love the start of the match, teasing the suplex, knowing that is what the crowd really wants to see. The roles really were switched in WWE’s mind when booking this match. For the first time since returning in 2012, Lesnar is playing the role of the baby face; so it was nice to see Rollins try to run and how Lesnar responds to that. Seth’s face during his offensive strikes seems so genuine. He really is just excited to be getting in some blows and you can see the urgency to try to keep the beast down. As Lesnar continues his suplexes, why doesn’t WWE put in a suplex counter in the corner. As this match continues I can’t help but notice the crowd is slowly losing their energy and think Lesnar matches have a pattern to them. He beats down the opponents until some kind of shocking finish. And right on cue, as Lesnar goes for the pin, the iconic sound of the gong hit the speakers and in the middle of the ring stands the Phenom, the dead man, the Undertaker making his rumored return. A conflicted moment for this fan, as that was an awesome return but I wish he didn’t cost Lesnar the match. Oh well, if it means we get another Undertake match outside of WrestleMania, I’ll take it. Lesnar played it perfectly, looking afraid, and dare I say, even weak for the first time in three years. This will set up the obvious match between Undertake and Lesnar at Summerslam and that has money printed all over it.
Final thoughts: Overall, kind of a meh show in my opinion. The main event was alright but we’ve seen it before. Literally almost the same match Lesnar had at WrestleMania and Summerslam of last year, the only exception being the Undertaker return. Owens losing to Cena was upsetting even though it could be argued it was Cena’s best match. And aside from Charlottes first PPV win, the card was kind of forgettable. Looking back, it just feels like a set up to Summerslam and those shows are needed, I just wish they would save them for Raw and Smackdown! instead of the PPV before one of the big four.