Top 5 Takeaways from WWE Battleground PPV
By Anton Ware
Hello Geektified family! It's time for another monthly review as we cover Smackdown’s latest PPV offering, Battleground. The 5th edition of this PPV took place from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and it's the first Battleground show under the brand split. With seven matches and three titles up for grabs, the Smackdown brand looked to hit a home run because this was the last major event before Summerslam next month. So what were the highlights, you ask? Well look no further because Geektified has you covered!
#1: New Day Rocks
In the opening match, The New Day defeated The Usos to win the Smackdown Tag Team Titles. Along with being three-time champions, they’ve become the first team to win both the RAW and Smackdown Tag Team Championship. The preachers of P.O.P. (Power of Positivity) were granted this rematch due to The Usos intentionally getting counted out during their first tag title match at Money in the Bank last month. The match itself was what you’d except from these teams as all four men would lay it all out on the line in a damn fine contest. Lots of near falls with Woods being nearly beaten within an inch of his life until Kofi Kingston came back into the fray as a result of a vicious outside double powerbomb. In the end, Kingston performed Trouble in Paradise on Jimmy which was followed by Woods performing a ropewalk elbow drop to win the titles. The New Day is back on top of the tag division and we can expect a huge celebration Tuesday night.
#2: The Queen of Harts is on her way to Summerslam
From the women’s division, we had a Fatal 5-Way Elimination Match for the opportunity to face current Smackdown Women’s Champion Naomi (who had no match, but was at ringside doing commentary) at Summerslam. Charlotte, Becky Lynch, Tamina, Lana, and Natalya faced off against each other via tornado rules (meaning all five women can battle at the same time). The order of elimination were as follows:
-Becky Lynch eliminates Tamina with the Dis-Arm-Her
-Becky Lynch eliminates Lana with the Dis-Arm-Her
-Natalya eliminates Becky Lynch with a rollup
It would come down to Natalya and Charlotte where Natalya would block a top-rope moonsault from Charlotte, smash her head into the turnbuckle, and pin her to get the win. Afterwards, Naomi entered the ring to offer a handshake, but Natalya refused to signify that she’s all business leading up to their confrontation next month. Nattie’s upcoming title match with Naomi could make her a two-time women’s champion. The last time she won gold was in 2010 when she defeated Michelle McCool and Layla in a 2-on-1 handicap match. This match may be Natalya's last chance to prove she’s not just a stepping stone for the younger talent and is just as capable as any other female competitor on the roster.
When the discussion of who’s the most successful NXT star to be called up to the main roster, four names come to mind: Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Charlotte, and Kevin Owens and with Owens’ win over AJ Styles, that statement only gets more validity. Owens is now a three-time US Champion, along with being a two-time Intercontinental Champion and the second-ever Universal Champion. Owens’ ruthlessness, selfish demeanor, combined with his devious, but effective in-ring skills has made him a big time player in WWE ever since arriving on the scene in 2015. He takes no prisoners, has no allies, and does whatever it takes to feed his family and IT WORKS. The backstory was that Owens had lost the US Title to Styles at a Madison Square Garden house show on July 7th (even though Styles had won a previous battle royal to earn his title shot at this very PPV). Since there was a title change at the house show, Owens would then get a rematch to reclaim his prize and cement his legacy as the one and only Face of America. The ending of the contest saw Styles and Owens trade submissions while the referee was getting himself together due to being knocked down. Owens would counter Styles’ crossface into a rollup to get the win while Styles was left confused and disappointed in the ring.
#4: Cena Triumphs
John Cena returned to Smackdown during the Independence Day special and was met by his old rival Rusev. They traded insults and then came to the conclusion to settle their differences in a flag match on this show. This flag match was different in the sense that a wrestler had to retrieve his flag from the top turnbuckle and place it in a stand at his designated podium near the entryway. Cena and Rusev would battle, retrieve their respective flags, and wrestle up the ramp. The turning point took place with Rusev setting up two tables near Cena’s podium only for Cena to deliver an Attitude Adjustment on Rusev off the podium and through the tables. Cena grabbed the US flag (which both flags had been dropped on the ground throughout the contest) and stand it on his podium for the win. With Rusev out of the way, what’s next for Cena? Title aspirations? Moving over to RAW due to his free agent status? We shall see.
#5: Mahal with a GREAT assist
The third straight Smackdown PPV meeting between Randy Orton and WWE Champion Jinder Mahal was decided in a Punjabi Prison Match. This was also the third Punjabi Prison Match in WWE history as Batista vs. The Great Khali and Undertaker vs. The Big Show (Show subbing for Khali that night) were the two previous matches. The match rules consisted of four doors an opponent can go through in the first cage, but once each door is summoned open, you only have 60 seconds to go through that particular door. Once all four doors have used the 60 second stipulation, your only way out of both cages is to climb out in order to win the match. Even though Mahal requested this match, it actually favored Orton due to The Singh Brothers being limited in their involvement (or so we thought). Psychological warfare was played by Mahal to give off the illusion that the contest was going to be a one-on-one affair as Samir and Sunil both interfered on his behalf as they were hiding under the ring the whole time. Orton would dispose of the brothers as Samir would be sent crashing through an announce table due to battling Orton on top of the outer cage and beating Sunil and Mahal with a steel chair. Just as it looked like Orton was about to climb over the outer cage to become the new WWE Champion, The Great Khali made his surprise return to WWE. Khali climbed the structure and choked Orton out long enough for Mahal to climb out and get the win. The Mahārāja of Smackdown celebrates with The Great Khali as the PPV comes to a close.
-So what did you guys think of the show? Hit or miss? Let me know in the comments section. Thanks for reading!