This past Sunday, the WWE held its fourth Battleground PPV live from the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The PPV was swarmed with controversy following the news of Reigns’ suspension after he violated the wellness policy, but that controversy has calmed down significantly as well relatively covered up by the UFC controversy with Brock Lesnar. All controversy aside, the PPV card looked good enough for it to be a good show and a good show it was. The next night, the WWE followed it up with a great episode of Monday Night Raw. With a new logo, different commentary team, a different ring design, and a surprising finish to the main event, Raw has kicked off this New Era and The Brand Split with a bang.
Both shows were good at promoting their talents and making the WWE feel less like the same old predictable show we’re used to week in and week out and it can only be hoped that the WWE builds from here. With two really good shows like this back to back, it can only get better and better for the WWE if they sustain their momentum for the rest of the week and the subsequent weeks afterwards.
So to wrap up the biggest points coming out of Battleground and Raw, this article will look at the 15 Biggest Takeaways from WWE Battleground and Raw.
After news of Reigns' suspension for violating the wellness policy broke, many fans thought it would only be fair for Reigns to lose his top spot and work his way up the ladder again. This was especially interesting considering the fact it was rumored that the WWE was going to start a redemption storyline involving Reigns climb back to the top. And after watching Battleground and Raw, the de-push of Reigns has clearly begun as Reign has now put over two men back to back clean.
For years and years, the fans have been asking for the WWE to go back to unique sets for the two different shows. And following the news of the brand split, the hope for fans only increased as the draft drew closer and closer. And on the latest edition of Monday Night Raw, the prayers of the WWE Universe were answered as the Raw set looked completely different than the same old same old plain titantron we have grown accustomed to seeing over the years.
Heading into Battleground, Sasha Banks was placed into a tag team match with a mystery partner against the team of Dana Brooke and the Women’s Champion Charlotte. Many fans expected it to be Bayley, as they wanted her to either be called up to the main roster during the draft or to be Banks’ partner for their tag team match.
The feud between The Wyatt Family and The New Day has been building since the Raw after Money in the Bank. The cross between the New Day’s comedy overload and the seriousness of The Wyatt Family ultimately made for some interesting exchanges including a hypnotized Xavier Woods plot point. After weeks of build, as well as a compound battle that strikingly resembled the TNA Final Deletion, the two stables finally battled at Battleground.
When thinking of the women’s wrestlers of the WWE, the names that immediately come to mind are the Women’s Champion Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch. All three women are part of The Four Horsewomen who are regarded as some of the best women’s wrestlers in years, yet Lynch has been treated as an afterthought in both NXT and the main roster.
After months of interfering in each other’s matches and costing each other victories, Zayn and Owens agreed to have another singles match at Battleground to put an end to the feud. The selling point of this match was the possibility of the two men being drafted to separate rosters following the draft. Despite this tease, Zayn and Owens would both end up being drafted to the Raw roster, but the commentators still declared that this match would end the feud. And after a fantastic match, Zayn came away the winner for a second time in the history of their feud, from a WWE standpoint.
The Miz defended his Intercontinental Championship against the former half of The Prime Time Playas and the current student of Bob Backland, Darren Young. The build to this match was relatively abysmal, but considering the video segments that led to Young’s return to the WWE, it could’ve been worse. Young had a little momentum following his win in the number one contender’s match for the Intercontinental Championship and it seemed like he would have a good showing at the very least. Unfortunately, that would not be the case as The Miz and Young engaged in a very forgettable match that not even the fans in the arena cared about.
Following the match between The Wyatt Family and The New Day, the WWE made it clear that the newest targets of The Club will be The New Day at the end of this edition of Raw. The Club have basically been treading water since their involvement in the feud between AJ Styles and John Cena, so seeing Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows get an opportunity as a tag team rather than flunkies for AJ Styles or Finn Bálor will be good for them both.
Once John Cena returned to the WWE and was confronted by AJ Styles, many WWE nd fans of other wrestling promotions rejoiced as a big time match was imminent. The first match took place at the Money in the Bank PPV, which was riddled with interference from Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson which helped Styles win the match.
Ever since the WWE broke up The Shield, all of its members have been fighting each other on Raw, SmackDown, and PPVs almost constantly. And with The Shield triple threat match now behind us and Ambrose on a roster opposite Rollins and Reigns, it is clear that the next opponent for Ambrose at SummerSlam will be someone other than the former members of The Shield.
Following her match with Bayley against the team of Charlotte and Dana Brooke, Sasha Banks seemed like she was heading to a match for the Women’s Championship at SummerSlam. However, the WWE decided to surprise the fans again by having the match take place on the post-draft episode of Monday Night Raw. This led to the second biggest match of the night as Banks and Charlotte had a fantastic match for the championship.
Were this PPV have happened a month ago, majority of these matches wouldn’t have had an added meaning to it. However, with this PPV taking place just after the brand split, the WWE was able to add more meaning to most of their matches and elevate the importance of them at the same time.
At the end of the Battleground PPV, Dean Ambrose walked away as the WWE Champion and kept the belt on SmackDown; most likely to increase the incentive of fans to tune in. And for as great as that is for Ambrose, the fact remains that the Raw brand is now without a title despite being a flagship product. And as expected, the next night on Raw a new title was announced by Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley.
When the first edition of Battleground aired in 2013, it was widely regarded as the worst show of the year, until Survivor Series of that year. However, since that edition of the PPV, the show has been gradually getting better and better from each year.
Ever since Finn Bálor lost the NXT championship to Samoa Joe, many wrestling fans were anticipating the main roster debut of The Demon. And after weeks and weeks of anticipation during the draft, it was revealed that Bálor would be coming to Monday Night Raw. This was met by the delight of all the fans in attendance for the WWE Draft, but what happened on this edition of Raw paled in comparison to the big news from the draft.
At the start of Raw, the authority figures announced that Raw would be getting a new world title following a series of matches leading to SummerSlam. The first set of matches were two fatal four-way matches that squared away the main event of Roman Reigns against Bálor in the main event. Now the fact that Bálor was in the main event so quickly into his main roster debut was big enough, but the fact that he defeated Reigns clean in the ring was a huge upset. Most fans expected it to be Reigns vs. Rollins again at SummerSlam, but the WWE completely surprised everyone. And with Reigns out of the way, this all but confirms one thing.
Bálor is the future of the WWE.
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