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WWE Battle Ground 2016 Recap

WWE Battleground is over and it was a decent show. Not great but certainly not bad. 

For each match I’ll remind you of my prediction, tell you what actually happened, and then share my evaluation of the match. Let's dive in. 


 

Charlotte and Dana Brooke vs. Sasha Banks and mystery partner

My prediction
If the mystery partner is Bayley, I believe that Banks and Bayley win clean. If the mystery partner is Nia Jax, I think Charlotte and Dana win but with some controversy, as that’s the only way the WWE seems to book Charlotte’s wins. 

What Actually Happened
Sasha’s mystery partner was BAYLEY!! She received a huge pop from the crowd, it was a lot of fun to watch.  

The winners of the match were Sasha and Bayley via the Bank Statement on Charlotte.

Match Evaluation
Great intro from Bayley. Lots of action inside the ring and out with lots of energy. Really fun way to open the show. Exactly what I was looking for. 


The New Day vs. The Wyatt Family (Six Man Tag)

My prediction 
The New Day wins.

What Actually Happened 
The Wyatt Family wins.

Match Evaluation
Big pop again for the New Day. Lots of switching to start the match, meh. Braun Strowman is a beast but has got zero personality, not sure how he will fair by himself on Raw. They kept showing Xavier Woods acting confused/scared, making me consider the WWE turning him against The New Day, for about 5 seconds.

Really fun match, lots of big dudes doing some serious damage. Xavier Woods was incredible in this match, so freaking fun to watch him snap out of his funk and go on a rampage. 


Cena, Enzo, and Cass vs. The Club (Six Man Tag)

My Prediction 
Cena, Enzo and Cass win. Something goes wrong between AJ and Gallows/Anderson, involving Cena, and we see the beginning of The Club moving on from AJ.  This also sets up Cena vs. Styles at Summerslam. 

What Actually Happened
Cena, Enzo, and Cass win. No Club issues though. 

Match Evaluation
I loved Cena’s reaction to Enzo and Cass, reclining on the ropes, genuinely getting excited to be placed on the ‘Mount Rushmore of Certified G’s”…I really think he’s actually impressed by them. 

Enzo definitely brought his A game on the mic tonight. My favorite “You can’t Washington D.C. me.” Very clever. I must admit the lists they've started doing are quite funny as well but I’m afraid that they will get old real quickly.  

I must also say that the club's attire was well done. Gallows and Anderson in red accented outfits and Styles in blue accents, although his blues did not match. Nonetheless, touche gents.

We also got a “soccer mom” chant for AJ, so good.  

Enzo and Cass owned the beginning of the match, which was fun. I always enjoy Cass throwing Enzo around like he weighs 20 pounds. Plus this early dominance by Enzo and Cass led to the big hot tag to Cena after Enzo got the crap beaten out of him.

The mid-match sequence was a bit sloppy but Enzo’s leaping DDT on Anderson off the stairs onto the mat was quite nice.  Not the best match of the night but definitely not the worst. 

Becky Lynch vs. Natalya

My prediction
Natalya wins and we continue to feel bad for Becky.

What Actually Happened
Natalya wins and I feel bad for Becky. 

Match Evaluation
I love Becky Lynch’s ring entrance, looks like so much fun, although with no stage or ramp at this show, the smoke pillars didn’t quite have the same effect they usually do. 

Natalya is a good worker and has quite the in ring arsenal, no knocks on her there, I just don’t like this new heel character. She seems like she’s trying to hard to be a bad guy. I’m hopeful that over time she’ll become more natural at it because these two work well together and Becky is definitely the babyface of the women’s division on Smackdown. 

They definitely sold Becky as the underdog in this match, being overpowered by Natalya most of the match. I was hoping they would drop the underdog angle with her but I’m not surprised at all that they stuck to it. 

Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn

My Predictions
- Owens wins clean and uses this win to haunt Sami for the next month, never interfering but just showing up distract Sami during his matches leading up to their rematch at Summerslam.
- Zayn wins clean and Owens absolutely loses his mind, going on a month-long rampage until he gets to ‘set things straight’. 

What Actually Happened 
Zayn wins clean. 

Interesting twist, Owens yells “Don’t make me do this" as he's smacking Sami around. Then at the end of the match Sami looks to show compassion before a 2nd Helluva Kick, and then looked rather distraught after winning. Laying the seeds for a Zayn/Owens reunion? I'm not sure about that but this ending has definitely got me thinking about what WWE is going to do here.   

Match Evaluation
I absolutely love Kevin Owens as a heel, he’s the best. Also Sami botched his sitting top-rope back flip onto the mat and almost broke his collar bone, YIKES, that was scary. Sami’s exploder suplex into the corner, his suplex on the outside apron, and the flythough of the turnbuckles countered by Owens were all incredible spots. 

This match was so much fun. They got the coveted “fight forever” chant, a standing ovation, and the "Yes!" chant as well, glad to see the Universe giving these guys the respect they deserve. 

I predicted that these guys could put on the match of the night and they definitely did. 

Rusev vs. Zack Ryder (US Title Match)

My Prediction
Rusev wins.

What Actually Happened
Rusev wins

Match Evaluation
Ryder came out in a ridiculous Macho Man-esque American themed outfit. A bit on the nose guys. Also, this match was completely boring. 

Mojo Rawley came out at the end of the match to confront Rusev and protect his fellow Hype Bro, Ryder. This was the only good part of the match because Mojo is insane, which makes him fun to watch.  

The Miz vs. Darren Young (IC Title Match)

My Prediction
The Miz wins and retains the title leading into a feud with Baron Corbin or Del Rio. 

What Actually Happened
The Miz wins by DQ 

Match Evaluation
Strong start from Darren Young, which I was happy to see. Young is fun and athletic, I’ll be happy if he gets a push on Raw. 

I really like The Miz, he plays a narcissistic prick so well. His trash talk to Backlund was great example of this.  And we definitely got the Backlund/Maryse moment I was hoping for. 

Ambrose vs. Rollins vs. Reigns (Triple Threat for the WWE Championship)

My Prediction 
Ambrose retains the title, pinning Reigns for the win.

Rollins pisses and moans Monday night on Raw that once again he was robbed, that he never lost, and that he wants a shot at Ambrose, one on one, at Summerslam. Foley then announces that he won’t get a rematch against Ambrose, but rather, there will be a month long tournament amongst Raw talent for the new World Heavyweight Championship, which lead to Rollins vs. Reigns at Summerslam. 

What Actually Happened
Ambrose wins by pinning Reigns.

Match Evaluation
If Raw and Smackdown are both “all about the Superstars and not management” why are the management at ringside? I get that landing the WWE  Championship to your show is a big deal, but they don’t need to be at ringside for the match, they could have been in the locker rooms with their respective rosters. The message here is confusing, makes me think this ‘all about the superstars’ line isn't the case. 

Roman Reigns got a huge boo upon his return, not surprising. For the record, I don’t get all the hate. Be mad at WWE for shoving him down our throats don’t be mad an Reigns for doing his job and doing it well. People who say he can’t wrestle aren’t watching him work, the dude has skills. Throw your shade elsewhere.

Rollins got thrown over the top rope like 5 times to start the match, ouch man, ouch. This brings up the thing that I dislike the most about Triple Threat Matches, it always winds up being a combination of one on one segments, with one guy hurt on the outside. 

The match started slow but it’s momentum grew as it went on which led to a mid-match sequence where Ambrose and Rollins went for the Shield powerbomb on Reigns, so I was right about the move, just wrong about the arrangement. I’ll take that. 

The back half of this match was a ton of fun. Lots of counters of signature moves and a crazy-close 2 count on Reigns. The ending sequence was good too.  Pedigree countered, turnbuckle powerbomb into a Super Man Punch-spear combo, only to be capped off with Dirty Deeds for Ambrose to retain. 

In my predictions article I said that I was worried that this match wouldn’t be all that we had hoped and while I don’t think it was better than Zayn-Owens on the night, it was still a very entertaining match, and I’m not disappointed at all.  

Concluding Thoughts

My prediction score 
7/8 

I got The New Day vs. The Wyatt Family wrong. Not sure what the thought process with this decision was, perhaps time will tell what WWE is doing with the Wyatts. 

I was right about how the match would end if Bayley was Sasha’s partner. I was also right that Ambrose would pin Reigns, though it remains to be seen if Rollins pulls the “I didn’t lose card” on Raw. And I was right about The Club vs. Enzo, Cass, and Cena, but we didn’t get the Club fallout I predicted. So perhaps the divide and conquer mentality is actually going to happen. 

I’m very interested to see how the Zayn vs. Owens storyline moves forward as well, the ending of that match was intriguing.

Overall, Battleground was a decent show. Bayley’s debut was huge, Darren Young performed well in first big match in a long time, Zayn vs. Owens was incredible, and the Title match was good. Not the strongest card we could hope for but I’m sure Summerslam will shape up to be a very strong show. 

Check back later in the week for Raw, Smackdown, NXT, and Cruiser Weight Classic recaps and be sure to share your thoughts on Battleground in the comments.