Aiden English defeats Tye Dillinger
Why? Surely you build the undercard crowd favorite here?
The New Day defeat The Usos for the Smackdown Tag team Championships
What a great way to start the PPV. The Usos have truly embraced their new heel roles and I fully expect them to stay within the championship scene for some time. There were some fantastic spots here, in particular the kick to the face as Xavier Woods went for the elbow drop. I expect the New Day to hold the championships until Breezango are deemed ready to take the leap.
Shinsuke Nakamura defeats Baron Corbin (via disqualification)
Where do I start with this? Creative seem desperate to build Nakamura as a sympathetic babyface, letting the heels get in their slow-paced, methodical beat down early on in matches befor Nakamura can hit his signature moves. This is, in every sense, the wrong way to build Nakamura. This match should have lasted five minutes as Corbin gets a quick start and then Nakamura goes strong style for the majority of the match, leading to Corbin’s DQ. Can somebody in the WWE please take note, thank you.
Natalya wins No.1 Contendership fatal five way for the Smackdown Women’s Championship
Lana and Tamina have a fun gimmick moving forward that gives Tamina something to do amongst far better performers: I’m presuming that these two face Charlotte and Lynch moving forward. However, I’m amazed that Natalya won this match. Natalya is obviously a superb wrestler, and her better days were arguably tarnished by the embarrassing “Divas” division of days gone, but her character has never been worthy of the title picture. I hope Carmella gets heavily involved here to make things interesting.
Kevin Owens defeats AJ Styles for the United States Championship
It seems that creative back tracked on their decision to have AJ Styles as their secondary title holder. Could this mean that AJ moves up to face Jinder at Summerslam? Probably not, but we can hope. The finish of this match simply confused me, did AJ think that Kevin’s shoulders were down? Because he made no attempt to move!
John Cena defeats Rusev in a flag match
Although the finish gave Cena stardust heading out of this, Rusev did well to look strong throughout. This will be the end of the feud, I just hope that Rusev stays relevant heading out of it. Cena goes on to face Mahal… do I need to say anymore?
Sami Zayn defeats Mike Kanellis (with Maria Kanellis)
This match was what it was after they gave it away on Smackdown. Neither superstar seems to have been progressed by this feud so we move on.
Jinder Mahal defeats Randy Orton to retain the WWE Championship
The Great Khali interferes with the match to really give Mahal some championship level heel heat… but the crowd gave no reaction at all! I love the Khali being added to this stable and I’m fascinated to see where this goes. Yes, John Cena will probably beat Mahal at Summerslam in a simple Super Cena performance, however Khali makes the storyline far more interesting. Orton looks like he could be heading for some time off and I like this move, keep him fresh and turn him heel on return.
Battleground reminds me of watching old TNA PPV’s: the talent does just enough to keep you awake, whilst relying on veteran stars to sell poorly written stories. This PPV sapped the life out of the Philadelphia crowd, the famously rowdy Philadelphia crowd. Phil deserves a Wrestlemania not this D-grade PPV.