Battleground Review – 15 Months of Vengeance

Seth Rollins (w/ Paul Heyman) wrestled Brock Lesnar to a no contest; Rollins retains World Heavyweight Championship

Match Grade: A

Rollins started by working over Lesnar’s left hamstring, but Lesnar quickly started delivering German suplexes. Rollins absorbed five consecutive Germans, before rolling out onto the floor. Rollins grabbed his title and tried to walk out through the crowd, but Lesnar impressively hurdled the barricade and tossed Seth back into the ringside area.

Back in the ring, Lesnar went to work with two more Germans, but Rollins landed on his feet on the second. Rollins went back to work on Lesnar’s hamstring, finally knocking him down. Rollins landed four superkicks, but Brock didn’t fall back down, instead hoisting Rollins up for an F5.

Rollins squirmed out of the F5 and drove Lesnar from the ring, then hit him with back-to-back dives between the ropes, driving Lesnar into the barricade. Both men returned to the ring, and Brock hit an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Lesnar hit Rollins with four more German suplexes, then tauntingly slapped Seth in the face and delivered another German.

JBL hilariously noted, “Seth might tap…off a suplex…” before Lesnar hit yet another German. Lesnar hit an F5 and covered Rollins, but The Undertaker’s gong went off and the Deadman appeared in the ring. Taker went low, kicking Lesnar in the groin.

Taker hit a chokeslam and a Tombstone piledriver, glaring at Heyman for a moment before hitting another Tombstone. Taker got down on a knee and posed over Lesnar’s lifeless body to end the show.

Scott’s Thoughts: While the match itself was highly enjoyable, this main event will always be remembered for The Undertaker’s return. What’s really interesting is where this might lead us for Summerslam. The most likely option seems to be a Rollins/Lesnar/Taker triple threat, or a double-main of Lesnar/Taker, with HHH challenging Rollins for the belt.

If they put Lesnar and Taker in their own match, the only opponents on the active roster for Rollins that would feel important enough to be a Summerslam main event would be HHH or Cena. With Cena doing his US title thing, that pretty much just leaves HHH or a champion-vs-champion match with Cena.

The Rollins/HHH match is absolutely happening eventually, it’s just a question of whether they’re ready to pull the trigger on it. I still think the triple threat is a more likely option for Summerslam.


John Cena def. Kevin Owens by submission to retain the United States Championship

Match Grade: B

Owens dropped Cena with an early dropkick, following up with a spinning neckbreaker for two. Owens hit a running senton, but Cena fought back with a dropkick. Cena hit a sit-out facebuster, then added a top-rope legdrop for two.

Owens countered an AA into a DDT for a near-fall, then climbed up top. Owens tried for a senton bomb, but Cena got his knees up to counter. Owens fought back with Cena’s own moves of doom, hitting a Five-Knuckle Shuffle.

Cena got Owens up into an electric chair, planting him with a facebuster before locking in an STF. Owens fought out of the hold, then hit a fisherman’s backbreaker for a two-count. Cena tried for a springboard stunner, but Owens countered with a German suplex.

Owens hit a cannonball, but Cena hit a front flip sunset powerbomb for a near-fall. Cena tried for another diving legdrop, but Owens caught him and transitioned into a powerbomb, earning a two-count of his own. Cena popped up and hit an AA, but Owens managed to kick out.

Cena took Owens up top, but Owens reversed Cena’s superplex into a brainbuster from the top for a near-fall. Owens went for a pop-up powerbomb, but Cena countered with a hurricanrana. Owens hit a superkick and an AA of his own, then locked in an STF.

Cena reached the ropes to break the hold and hit a tornado DDT. Cena followed up with a springboard stunner, but Owens rebounded into a clothesline. Owens hit a brutal inverted shoulderbreaker, but Cena responded with a second AA, which Owens again kicked out of.

Cena leveled Owens with a clothesline, but Owens answered with a pop-up powerbomb for two. Owens climbed up top, but Cena caught him and hit a second-rope AA. Somehow, Owens managed to kick out.

Owens earned a near-fall with a schoolboy, but Cena kicked out. Cena locked in the STF, reapplying it and dragging Owens back to the center of the ring when he nearly reached the ropes. Owens tapped out to end the match.

Scott’s Thoughts: My biggest problem wasn’t Owens losing, it was Owens TAPPING. If he was going to lose, I would have much rather seen him not kick out of the Super AA. Just end the match there. I really think I would have been fine with that.

Owens tapping doesn’t make any more sense in kayfabe than it does in reality either — he kicked out of a move that has never been kicked out of, only to tap to a move hardly anyone ever taps to? What’s that all about? There was some really great wrestling in this match, but the finish was terribly booked. I also felt like there were a few too many false finishes.


Bray Wyatt def. Roman Reigns by pinfall

Match Grade: C+

Reigns hit a Samoan drop which sent Wyatt out of the ring. Reigns followed, but Wyatt sent him into the ring steps. Wyatt followed up with a DDT onto the apron, then sent Reigns back into the ring. Wyatt hit a snap suplex and a running senton for a near-fall.

Reigns fought back with a sideslam, several clotheslines, and two fisherman’s suplexes. Reigns tried for an apron dropkick, but Wyatt countered with a clothesline, then hit a running senton on the floor. Reigns hit a big sitout powerbomb in the ring, but Wyatt kicked out.

Reigns swept Wyatt’s leg out, dropping him on the apron and following up with an apron dropkick. Back in the ring, Wyatt hit a lifting side slam for a near-fall. Reigns countered Sister Abigail with a Superman punch, earning a two-count of his own.

Wyatt countered a spear with a big boot, then nearly decapitated Reigns with a clothesline that Reigns sold tremendously. Wyatt tried for Sister Abigail, but Reigns fought out of it and hit a Samoan drop. Wyatt went outside the ring and started grabbing chairs, but Reigns knocked him down and started throwing chairs into the ring himself.

Luke Harper appeared out of nowhere, hitting a superkick as the referee tried to get the chairs out of the ring. Wyatt hit a lifting side slam onto the apron, then finished Reigns with Sister Abigail.

Scott’s Thoughts: Boy, that match was sloooooooow. I’m not exactly a fan of 20+ minute brawler matches, and this was not an exception to that rule. There were a few cool spots, but lots and lots of rest holds and strikes.

It’s nice to see WWE acknowledge the fact that Wyatt and Harper are better together than they are alone. Wyatt/Harper vs. Reigns/Ambrose would be a fun SummerSlam match, even if they don’t add a third member to each team, as has been rumored.


Randy Orton def. Sheamus by pinfall

Match Grade: B+

The action quickly spilled outside, with Orton driving Sheamus into the barricade. Orton followed up with a clothesline on the floor, then tossed Sheamus back into the ring. The two exchanged stiff uppercuts in the center of the ring, and Sheamus hit three Irish Curse backbreakers.

Sheamus hit a diving knee drop for a two-count, following up with another knee drop. Sheamus and Orton continued landing clubbing blows, but Sheamus saw a scoopslam coming and avoided it, holding onto the ropes. They went back outside the ring, with Orton hitting a sideslam onto the announce table.

Back in the ring, Sheamus came up empty on a Brogue Kick and Orton responded with a scoopslam, earning a near-fall. Sheamus hit a jawbreaker and a rolling senton, followed by a gorilla press slam for two. Sheamus missed another Brogue, but Orton came up empty on an RKO.

Sheamus planted Orton with White Noise for a two-count, but Orton answered with a fisherman’s suplex for a near-fall of his own. Orton hit a superplex for two, then hit a hangman’s DDT. Sheamus avoided another RKO attempt and landed a Brogue, but Sheamus wasn’t able to make the cover quickly enough.

Sheamus locked in a Cloverleaf, but Orton broke the hold by reaching the ropes. Orton landed an RKO to put Sheamus away.

Scott’s Thoughts: Despite the fact that these two have wrestled each other countless times, I think the way it was booked was the only way to make it interesting. The entire story of the match was that these guys have faced each other so many times that they couldn’t figure out how to beat each other. Wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see Randy challenge Sheamus to a briefcase match at Summerslam.


The Prime Time Players def. Kofi Kingston and Big E (w/ Xavier Woods) to retain the Tag Team Championship

Match Grade: B

Darren hit a clothesline, a spinning neckbreaker and a Northern Lights suplex for a near-fall on Kofi. Titus hit a gorilla press slam and a legdrop on Big E, which prompted Woods to scream “Worst legdrop ever!” Kofi hit a corner dropkick on Darren, and Big E followed up with a splash on the apron.

Big E knocked down Darren with a back elbow, and Woods shouted that Big E had the advantage due to his “tricep meat.” Darren finally fought back with an enziguiri, reaching Titus with the hot tag. Titus clotheslined Kofi, then hit him with two backbreakers.

Woods took advantage of a distracted ref to hit an enziguiri on Titus. Kofi followed up with a DDT for a near-fall, but Titus reached Darren, who hit a German suplex on Kofi and a sideslam onto the apron on Woods. Kofi hit a spinning heel kick and tagged in Big E, but Darren avoided the Big Ending and Trouble in Paradise to hit a Gut Check.

Titus tagged in and hit Clash of the Titus on Big E to polish off New Day and retain the titles.

Scott’s Thoughts: A solid match, and one that makes me wonder what’s coming next for PTP, as I would imagine that this takes New Day out of the title picture for the time being. The most entertaining thing about this match was Woods’ constant yelling at ringside. That guy is comedic gold.


Charlotte (w/ Paige and Becky Lynch) def. Brie Bella (w/ Nikki Bella and Alicia Fox) and Sasha Banks (w/ Naomi and Tamina Snuka) by submission

Match Grade: B

Charlotte dumped Brie from the ring, but Brie dropped her face-first onto the apron. Brie hit a Thesz press on Sasha, but Sasha fought back with double-knees to the gut of both Brie and Charlotte. Sasha hit two running knee strikes on Charlotte, forcing Brie to break up the cover.

Charlotte took down both Brie and Sasha with a double clothesline, following up with spinning neckbreakers to both women. Charlotte hit a big boot on Sasha, but Brie made the save again. Brie knocked Charlotte down with a dropkick, then hit a double running bulldog on Sasha and Charlotte.

Charlotte speared Brie as Sasha sidestepped out of the way. Sasha almost earned the pinfall with a sunset flip, then hit a neckbreaker for another near-fall. Brie hit a double missile dropkick, then Brie Moded her way into running knee strikes on Sasha and Charlotte.

Sasha dumped Brie from the ring, and dropkicked her off the apron when she tried to get back in the ring. Sasha took out the rest of the women with a dive between the ropes, and Charlotte followed up by throwing herself over the top rope onto Tamina and Naomi. Back in the ring, Sasha hit the Bank Statement on Charlotte, but Brie broke it up.

Brie sent Sasha shoulder-first into the ring post, but Charlotte reversed a Bella Buster into a Figure Eight, forcing Brie to tap out.

Scott’s Thoughts: Charlotte and Sasha looked like the stars that they are, and Brie took quite a bit of punishment. Brie was essentially just a bump machine for Charlotte and Sasha, and she did her job well. For their part, Charlotte and Sasha sold Brie’s offense enough to make her not feel totally out of place.


– King Barrett defeated R-Truth by pinfall after a Bullhammer Elbow in the pre-show match.

– There was a brief Miz/Big Show interaction. Big Show knocked Miz out with a KO Punch. This was horrible.