Monday, July 20, 2015

Battleground Review

As always, we start with the Kickoff Show. Much like last month at Money in the Bank, the Kickoff match featured King Barrett taking on R-Truth, also known as King What's Up. These two have met a bunch of times over the past few months since the actual King of the Ring took place. Due to the amount of matches they've had, they've developed a bit of chemistry and had a solid little Kickoff match. It went back and forth with a few false finishes before Barrett was able to win with the Bull Hammer in just over nine minutes. Perfectly acceptable stuff and hopefully, King Barrett can move into a new feud. I'm not asking him to main event, but something different. **1/4

The actual show itself opens with the hometown boy, Randy Orton, taking on Sheamus. I noted before the actual show that these two were like oil and water. From what I read yesterday, they have had 176 matches since 2009 and I can only recall one being any good. This was better than most as Orton moved into a harder hitting style to match Sheamus. That worked well since Sheamus is at his best in those situations. They got a good amount of time and the crowd was pretty hot for this, which helped it. Orton was able to score the win in about seventeen minutes with an RKO. Better than their usual stuff, but nothing special. Hopefully this program is over as we head to SummerSlam. ***

Next, it was time for the WWE Tag Team Championship match. Like the Kickoff match, this was a Money in the Bank rematch. The Prime Time Players defended their titles this time against the New Day. New Day cut a pre-match promo that was pretty great. They continue to deliver in this role. The match itself was better than their previous encounter. The crowd was again hot and the Prime Time Players were able to pick up a win after both Darren Young and Titus O'Neil busted out their finishers in under nine minutes. A really solid tag team bout that managed to deliver. **3/4

            In a match of two guys who couldn't really afford a loss, Roman Reigns met Bray Wyatt. I was pleasantly surprised by this match. Going in, I wasn't looking forward to it, but they managed to put on a good showing. That is especially surprising considering they were given the most time of any match. We were treated to plenty of near falls and an intriguing finish when a man in a hoodie attacked Reigns. This allowed Wyatt to secure the victory in just under 23 minutes. The man in the hoodie revealed himself to be Luke Harper, signaling at least some sort of reunion of the Wyatt Family, who never should have split in the first place. Best thing on the show so far. ***1/2

Throughout the night, a Divas match was hyped. Stephanie wanted a rep from Team Bella, Team BAD and Paige's team each to have a Triple Threat match. It seemed like we would get Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte vs. Nikki, but Nikki backed out and sent Brie in. The three girls put on a match that wasn't on the level of the usual NXT work, but was better than every other main roster Divas match this year. Sasha and Charlotte seemed slightly off, but the fans cared about it, it was good and seeing Sasha Banks on a Pay-Per-View warmed my heart. Charlotte won in about eleven minutes, and I hope this continues. ***

Here is where the show really started to hit a bump as the final hour disappointed greatly. We got the rubber match in the series between Kevin Owens and John Cena, this time with the United States Title on the line. It wasn't on the level of their first two matches and then came the awful finish. Cena made Owens tap out to the STF. The prize fighter won the non-title match before coming up short with the prize on the line. Now, Owens is just another heel. Had he beaten Cena here, he could have separated himself from the pack. Even if they have a fourth match for some reason, Owens already lost twice and tapped out like a chump. A heavily disappointing result. Where does Owens go from here? Did Cena really need to win this? ***3/4

Going into this show, I felt that Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins had potential to have a great match. That isn't what we got. What we got instead was Brock tossing Seth around for about ten minutes before a gong went off and the Undertaker appeared. The fans popped but I hated it. Undertaker hit Brock low and then planted him with two Tombstones. We didn't get a finish to the main event and the Undertaker stuff is stupid. Like, why does he all of a sudden want revenge after more than a year now? Why didn't this happen at Mania this year? Why is it happening at all? If they meet at SummerSlam, and Taker wins, Brock broke the streak for nothing. If Brock wins, what was the point of Taker returning for revenge? He'll look like a chump. This was more of an angle than a match but still disappointing. **

All in all, I'd say this was the best Battleground but it didn't have much competition. I was enjoying the show up until the final hour. Having Kevin Owens lose is a monumentally bad decision and the Undertaker return was flat out stupid. An atrocious ending to a pretty good event. 6/10.