WWE Battleground Review

WWE Battleground Review 7/25/16
WWE Battleground Review

July 25, 2016
By: Adam Martin of Wrestleview.com

With the first WWE Draft in over five years taking place this past week, the intrigue for WWE Battleground may have been high or low depending on your level of interest in the current WWE product. It definitely felt like the closing of a chapter of a book that has started to grow quite tiresome the last few years.

You can argue whether or not RAW or Smackdown got the better end of the deal coming out the draft, but one thing is for certain: things are shaking up and hopefully for the better. WWE desperately needs this from a creative standpoint. Business might be holding steady, but the interest level was tanking.

Dean Ambrose keeps the WWE Championship on Smackdown Live

First off, Roman Reigns shouldn’t have been in this match. Whether or not the policy violation was as underwhelming as rumored around the internet the past week, it still set a pretty bad example for the entire Wellness Policy testing. You make a mistake, you get punished and more than just 30 or 60 days without pay. This show would have been fine without Reigns on the card. Did he add something to the main event? Sure. Still, I didn’t like it and he should have been pulled.

That decision isn’t my call so why not focus on what ended up happening. What happened was a fine main event to cap off a fine show. I liked the addition of Stephanie McMahon, Mick Foley, Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan at ringside. By no means did I think this title was heading back to RAW, but it would have been a pleasant surprise had they gone in that direction. Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns all worked hard. Playing off The Shield history was fun. I’m just glad we are going to get a break from these guys with a relaunch.

The big question coming out of this match was what happens to the “flagship” show every Monday night being without a World Champion? It’s pretty obvious we are going to get a similar scenario to what we got back in 2002 when Eric Bischoff was forced to create a champion for his brand with Triple H. I was actually very intrigued by the idea of a champion traveling between both shows reminiscent of the old pro wrestling territory days. It’s pretty clear that won’t be happening based on WWE’s emphasis tonight with the Smackdown crew.

Bayley gets the call from Sasha Banks

What a great moment this was to witness on Sunday night. WWE has a great clip that I’ll be posting below this showing the smile on the face of Sasha Banks as Bayley’s music hits. The DC crowd gave Bayley a huge reaction and it was just one of those genuine moments. You knew it could be her, you weren’t sure and then once you got the moment, it just felt right. Based on other videos and commentary, it appears this may not have been the “official” main roster debut of Bayley. This might upset some wrestling fans, but I think tonight was a good test for the future.

Enzo Amore breaks through in a big way in DC

Outside out Bayley’s reaction, Enzo Amore clearly had a huge connection with the audience. Between his stellar promo skills and his charisma in the ring, it’s pretty clear we have a future player on our hands and even John Cena had to take notice smiling from the corner. While I’m not ready to crown Enzo has the next big huge star of WWE, he continues to show a ton of upside as a babyface act with Big Cass and it certainly doesn’t hurt to get the rub from the biggest star in WWE the last decade in Cena.

Quick Thoughts

* The ending to The Miz vs. Darren Young was sloppy and poorly executed
* I’m not a fan of heel Natalya at all
* Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn might have the best chemistry in wrestling today
* Rusev and Zack Ryder just never felt like it got out of second gear
* Does Bray Wyatt going solo to Smackdown help him? I sure think so
* Chris Jericho was very entertaining in his back-and-forth with Randy Orton

Overall Impression

67% of people in our @wrestleview poll on Twitter gave the show a thumbs up as of 1:43 a.m. ET (12:43 a.m. CT). With another 26% giving it a thumbs in the middle, it’s safe to say most people that tuned in enjoyed WWE Battleground.

While this was by no means one of WWE’s strongest showings of the year, it was a nice way to cap off a series of rivalries and close the book on this era for the company just 24 hours before we get full reboots on both RAW and Smackdown Live.

Anything different at this point is a good thing, right?

Let me know what you thought of the show in the comments below.

11 COMMENTS

  1. Honestly, before last night I though Enzo was going to be a great upper midcard act. If he can work on his ring skills a bit, I now genuinely believe he could be WWE champion at some point. I’ve not seen such a, well, successful promo in such a long time. At the very least, if he became the face of the cruiser weight division down the line, I’ve no doubt he’d make it interesting and entertaining.

    Rusev vs Ryder… I liked it. It was slow to start, but I genuinely enjoyed it from the middle to the closing sequence. Ryder gained a lot of legitimacy, while Rusev still emerged dominant with a feared submission move by making him tap. I think Ryder could use a couple straight wrestling moves (suplexes, slams), but this may actually be a good slow push for him.

    Zayn and Owens was amazing and I’m glad they dragged it out this long for the blowoff. Some amazing chemistry as the article said, and an absolutely fantastic ending that gave us all closure. That standing ovation towards the end of the match was well deserved.

  2. I like the finish to the Triple Threat, keeping Ambrose champion because he’s obviously a crowd favorite. I don’t like the idea of Raw making a separate champion. I still don’t like the brand split because it doesn’t allow interbrand rivalries, so all our rivalries are gonna get old after a while. Other than that I think Battleground was pretty great, I hope they give Ryder more of a push, but I’ve always thought he would need to get rid of the bright colorful character and get a more dark character to get anywhere.

  3. I’ll say this. I’m more interested in the E than I’ve been in a long while. Intriguing to see how things go from this point forward.

  4. Quick point too – Wyatt isn’t going solo to Smackdown. Harper is going with him. Stroman is going to RAW.

  5. After watching that Highlight Reel, I think the WWE Wellness Policy needs to be retooled here before Lesnar and Orton face off at Summerslam. If the regular media outlets can put 2 and 2 together as to what is going on, WWE may have a $#!+ storm on their hands.

    Overall, I liked the show. Does this mean that Summerslam in 4 week is going to be garbage?

  6. “that was like flotting a swy…”
    not one of the better PPVs, IMo.
    KO vs SZ the undeniable showstopper.
    Lana looking smoking, not sure about the “only he can have me” comment, seemed a bit pointless unless i missed something, not like the DZ thing is still going on.
    Miz match was dreadful.

  7. i was pleasantly surprised by the huge pop for Bayley. Rare for women’s wrestling, but the crowd going mad coupled with the genuine facial expressions of Sasha Banks made this one amazing.
    Words that I didnt expect coming out of my mouth some years ago.

  8. Zayn and Owens remind me of watching Bret and Owen Hart fight, and not just because they are Canadian

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