WWE delivered a very good show with Battleground, especially considering it was mostly a two-match card going into the pay-per-view. The in-ring work was really good in pretty much every match, save for the main event, which was a Brock Lesnar beatdown until the Undertaker showed up. We got an 11-minute women’s match, better-than-expected work from Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns, and another John Cena-Kevin Owens classic.
– Of course, the booking of that Owens-Cena match has left a lot of people scratching their heads (or saying they’ll NEVER WATCH WWE AGAIN) and I certainly agree that it was questionable to book the angry, surly Owens to tap out to Cena’s weakly-applied STF. While it seemed clear going in that there needed to be a way to extend the feud into SummerSlam, there were probably a dozen other ways to do it without weakening Owens in that fashion. My guess was interference by either Rusev or Cesaro, or some sort of DQ finish that allowed for one more match where Owens would take the US Title. WWE can still do Cena-Owens at SummerSlam but the logical road there just got a lot bumpier.
The match itself was incredible and anyone telling you otherwise is a little too focused on the result and not the journey. Owens continues to show off his athleticism and John Cena keeps having excellent matches with everyone he’s paired with. The pair’s chemistry is off the charts.
– Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt put on a great show once they got rolling. Reigns is getting into John Cena territory, where so many of his matches are really good that you have to give him some credit and not just his opponent. Luke Harper showing up and interfering protected Reigns in the loss and also gives Wyatt some of his much-missed muscle back. I’m definitely looking forward to another match at SummerSlam between these two.
– The previously unannounced women’s triple threat wasn’t a classic like many of Charlotte and Sasha Banks’ one-on-one encounters have been but it was given the time that most women’s matches aren’t afforded. Brie Bella didn’t help matters and at times it felt like she was holding Charlotte and Banks back. Either way, it’s nice to see WWE is continuing to give the women a chance and it looks as though Charlotte, Banks and Lynch are here to stay.
– The Prime Time Players v. New Day matchup was very fun and I can’t say enough about New Day on the microphone. Kofi Kingston seems more comfortable on the mic in this role than he ever has before and Big E has always been great but was never given the chance to shine. Xavier Woods added so much to this match with his mannerisms and shoutings on the outside. I can’t wait to see these teams square off again.
– The Lesnar-Rollins match was going in the same direction as Lesnar’s victorious match over John Cena at last year’s SummerSlam before the lights went out in St. Louis and the Undertaker appeared. It’s always nice to see Taker but I was hoping they wouldn’t go this direction because someone has to be a heel in the feud. The crowd doesn’t want to boo Taker (although they did briefly before switching to cheers) and Lesnar is so hot as a babyface that it doesn’t make sense to cool him off.
My other concern is what this means for Seth Rollins and the WWE Championship picture if Taker-Lesnar indeed is booked for SummerSlam. There isn’t a logical candidate next in line to challenge for the title, unless WWE decides to put Reigns in the match and put the Wyatt feud on hold for a bit.
[Image via WWE.com]