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Battleground 2016 Recap & Review

July 24, 2016
(aired live)

City: Washington, DC
Venue: Verizon Center

Official Attendance: 15,109
Theme Song: “This is a War” by The Phantoms, “Feel Invincible” by Skillet

Commentary: Michael Cole, JBL, Byron Saxton
Spanish Commentary: Marcelo Rodriguez, Carlos Cabrera
German Commentary: Sebastian Hackl, Carsten Schaefer
Japanese Commentary: Shun Yamaguchi, Funaki
Portuguese Commentary: Marco Alfaro, Roberto Figueroa
Russian Commentary: Moti Margolin, Zhan Pomerantsev
Ring Announcer: Jojo, Greg Hamilton


Intro Video
Clips building up the triple threat battle between the former Shield members, set to “This is a War” by The Phantoms.


Match 1
Charlotte (Women’s Champ) & Dana Brooke vs Sasha Banks & Bayley
(referee: Mike Chioda; ring announcer: Jojo)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Sasha Banks makes Charlotte submit to the Bank Statement
Time: 7:24

Match Thoughts
Good match. The pace was very high and almost frantic at times, but it worked. It was great to see Bayley show up as Sasha’s partner, and they all managed to keep that excitement pretty steady throughout the whole match. As fun as it was to see Bayley, Sasha and Charlotte were still the main focus of this match. This was a good opening match to get people excited and happy.


Clips building up the Wyatt versus New Day feud.


Match 2
New Day (Tag Champs) vs The Wyatt Family
(referee: Chad Patton; ring announcer: Greg Hamilton)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Bray Wyatt pins Xavier Woods after Sister Abigail
Time: 8:49

Match Thoughts
Good match. It told a good story. This was all about Xavier Woods overcoming his fear. Woods was frozen for a while and it felt like Kofi and Big E were just surviving in the match. It built up to a great moment when Woods broke out of his daze and starting fighting back against the Wyatts. This was a good match for each member of New Day, but especially Woods.


Summer Slam is headed to Brooklyn.


Match 3
US Title Match
Rusev (US Champ) w/ Lana vs Zack Ryder
(referee: Darrick Moore; ring announcer: Jojo)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Rusev wins via submission with The Accolade to retain the title
Time: 7:00

Match Thoughts
Good match, especially the ending. Ryder had more offense than most people have had lately against Rusev. The final moments were the best though, with a couple of good moves and counters.


Ring Area
After the match Rusev goes to keep attacking Ryder, but Mojo Rawley runs out to the ring to save his sometimes partner. Rusev looks like he’s not sure what to make of Rawley and backs away.

Seth Rollins tells Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley that he should never have to prove anything. He also feels that in about nine months there will be a boom of babies named “Seth Rollins.”

Zayn and Owens’ relationship.


Match 4
Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens
(referee: Rod Zapata; ring announcer: Greg Hamilton)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Sami Zayn wins via pinfall after a Helluva Kick
Time: 18:22

Match Thoughts
Really great match. Even though they’re both going to RAW, this really did feel like an ending. Both of them were full of emotion in the match, and it really showed in how they approached the match. It wasn’t always pretty (though it was at times), but these two guys threw themselves at each other in an effort to hurt and overcome the other. It felt like there was real emotion here. The ending to this match is one that will surely be remembered throughout the careers of both men. This has to be the feud of the year.


Kickoff Panel
Renee Young, Corey Graves, Jerry Lawler, and Booker T talk about the show so far.


Match 5
Natalya vs Becky Lynch
(referee: Chad Patton; ring announcer: Jojo)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Natalya wins via submission with a Sharpshooter
Time: 8:57

Match Thoughts
Good match. Having to follow such highly emotional matches was a bit of a bad draw for these two, but the match was solid. I liked the submission psychology and some of the counters from both women.


Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan tell Dean Ambrose that all of SmackDown is counting on him.

It’s Lesnar versus Orton at Summer Slam.


Match 6
Intercontinental Title Match

Darren Young w/ Bob Backlund vs The Miz (IC Champ) w/ Maryse
(referee: John Cone; ring announcer: Greg Hamilton)

Show/Hide Results

Result: The match ends in a double DQ when Darren Young won’t release a crossface chickenwing on the outside, Rusev retains the title
Time: 8:39

Match Thoughts
Pretty good match. It was fine, and good to see Darren Young get a pretty believable shot at a singles title, but the end got very strange. Michael Cole vocalized what I was thinking by saying “I have no idea what is going on.” The finish was a little bit of a letdown, but it seems like it’s the first part in further character development for Young, which could be interesting.


Brock Lesnar is on the cover of WWE 2K17.

The Club versus Cena, Amore, and Cass.

Ring Area
John Cena heads to the ring followed by Enzo and Cass. Enzo says they’re 4G, thinks Scream is a trilogy, and gives advice to The Club. Cass then uses the reference made the other day to Styles’ soccer mom haircut to start an extended metaphor (which ends with misspelling a simple word).


Match 7
John Cena & Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs The Club
(referee: Dan Engler; ring announcer: Jojo)

Show/Hide Results

Result: John Cena pins AJ Styles after an Attitude Adjustment from the second rope
Time: 14:31

Match Thoughts
Good match. For a good part of the match Cena let the other guys have the spotlight, but he did get involved enough later in the match to continue to build his feud with Styles. The match was pretty standard as far as these multi-man matches go (tagging for the first half and breaking down for the second half), but it was well-done. Everyone had a moment or two to shine, but the move of the match for me had to be Enzo giving Anderson a leaping DDT on the floor. It looked very good.


Ring Area
Chris Jericho heads to the ring and introduces Randy Orton as his guest on the Highlight Reel. Orton is very happy to be back. He’s not thrilled to be sharing the ring with Jericho though. Still, Jericho wants to give Orton a present: the gift of Jericho. Orton then makes fun of Jericho’s hair and calls him Ellen DeGeneres. Jericho then shows Orton clips of Lesnar.

Jericho thinks Orton is probably scared of Lesnar. He calls Orton a “mutton-head” and questions why he decided to face Lesnar at Summer Slam. Orton then says he wanted to make a statement (and insults Fandango in the process). He understands that he will go to Suplex City, then says that it’s a quicker trip to Viperville, “no enhancement needed.” He then drops the mic like he did something amazing on it. Jericho then relays some messages from Lesnar, including calling Orton a “stupid idiot.” Jericho then taunts Orton and his “RKO out of nowhere.” Orton then hits an obvious and expected RKO.

** I think this was bad placement for this segment. They should have put it after the Zayn/Owens match. It would have been a good reset and would have helped cushion the transition to the Natalya/Lynch match. Also, it’s pretty funny hearing Orton make an “enhancement” joke when he’s violated the wellness policy twice. And by “funny” I mean “stupid.” **

The history of The Shield has built to the next match.


Match 8
Triple Threat WWE Title Match
Seth Rollins vs Roman Reigns vs Dean Ambrose (WWE Champ)
(referee: Mike Chioda; ring announcer: Jojo; at ringside: Stephanie McMahon, Mick Foley, Shane McMahon, Daniel Bryan)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Dean Ambrose pins Roman Reigns after Dirty Deeds
Time: 18:03

Match Thoughts
Very good match. All three guys kept this a true triple threat without devolving into a one-on-one match for any significant length of time. There were some really good segments with all three working with and against each other. I think they handled the Reigns situation well considering his suspension and the fact that he was still given the benefit of being in this match. This is the last time they’ll have for a while to do a Shield triple threat so I understand why they kept it, but he still screwed up big time by not being around for the month buildup to the match. I think his role in tonight’s match reflects that.


Ring Area
The SmackDown roster heads to the ring to congratulate their champ.


Show Impressions
This was a long show, coming in at around three hours and fifteen minutes, but I enjoyed it. The two standout matches were the triple threat and Zayn versus Owens, but all of the matches were entertaining.

Match of the Night
Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens
The main event was good, but Zayn and Owens felt like it had more emotion and like it meant something more. It’s pretty impressive when a personal feud feels more important than a world title becoming exclusive to one particular show, but this match did that.



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