For the first time since the 1990s, the WWE will have a pay-per-view that only features five matches on the main card (excluding the Royal Rumble events), unless they throw a curveball and throw in a token Divas match that they haven’t announced yet… Or maybe there’s a surprise or two ahead for the WWE Universe?
Here’s the match card, including the pre-event match before the event:
– (Kickoff) R-Truth vs. King Barrett
– Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
– Bray Wyatt vs. Roman Reigns
– The Prime Time Players vs. The New Day (for the Tag Team Championship)
– John Cena vs. Kevin Owens (for the United States Championship)
– Seth Rollins vs. Brock Lesnar (for the WWE Championship)
With only five matches on the card, we can assume that each match won’t be rushed for the first time in a long time. There’s plenty of hope going into this card and we’ll hope that the WWE doesn’t let us down.
Read ahead for tonight’s results and our thoughts on the event. This is your final warning that SPOILERS ARE AHEAD!
Kickoff: King Barrett vs. R-Truth
Well, what were you expecting here? Rather than have Barrett work against someone interesting or have Dolph Ziggler fight against Rusev to further that feud, we got the continuation of the Barrett/R-Truth feud and their battle for the crown. The match was slow and filled with more jokes and dancing than actual creativity, but I suppose that’s why this match was on the pre-card. R-Truth got the crowd to make some noise, though Barrett won the match with a Bull Hammer.
Winner: King Barrett
Match Rating: 4/10
Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
Of all the matches on the card, this one had the least build, but that didn’t mean that this match wasn’t going to be interesting. Though Orton is much stronger as a heel, at least he was in his hometown of St.Louis and the crowd involvement certainly added to the match. Though there were no incredible high spots, with a Superplex from the top rope being the closest to achieving that, this match still offered plenty of power as these two made every move count and had a solid match. The ending of the match came when Orton hit an RKO outta nowhere…literally. After being locked in the clover leaf for an extended period of time, Orton finally got to the rope and when Sheamus dragged him to his feet, Orton pounced. A solid way to start the PPV.
Winner: Randy Orton
Match Rating: 7.5/10
The Prime Time Players (C) vs. The New Day
Before this match, Stephanie McMahon informed us that there would in fact be a Divas match. If you read the intro, you’ll see that I was right and that they would add a Divas match **patting myself on the back**. After that, The New Day cut a hilarious promo, furthering themselves as the top heel faction in the WWE. When you think about how far they’ve come since debuting, it’s truly impressive. Anyone who predicted they’d be a success should take a bow. Or stop lying.
This was an above average tag match, as both teams combined for some interesting moves and each move seemed to hit with an incredible velocity, like Titus O’Neil delivering violent and loud chops to the chest of Kofi Kingston. On top of that, Xavier Woods incessant screaming outside the ring was hilarious and served to further the point I made earlier that they’re the top heel team in the WWE. His annoying banter, plus the interesting match itself, really had the crowd going and involved throughout the match.
The match ended as both Prime Time Players hit their finishers on Kofi and Big E. The only complaint that can be made about this match is that there weren’t any true high spots, which we know wrestlers like Kofi Kingston, Darren Young and Xavier Woods are capable of. Regardless, this was another solid match.
Winner: The Prime Time Players (C)
Match Rating: 7/10
Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt
After Bray Wyatt sabotaged Roman Reigns’ chance at the Money in the Bank briefcase, we finally got to see these two go head to head and settle the feud. The build to this match has been interesting with Wyatt carrying it with his increasingly creepy promos. We couldn’t expect to see a high flying affair, but these two powerhouses put on a well calculated and entertaining affair.
Similar to the Sheamus and Randy Orton match, there were no jaw-dropping spots, but a lot amount of power moves that made you actually believe that either powerhouse might knock out the other. The fans were also really into this match too, with fans split down the middle and spurring on both men (though slightly skewed for Wyatt). After the bland crowd at Elimination Chamber, the crowds at MITB and Battleground have really picked up the pace and given a lot more to the events.
The pacing of the match was solid, as these two were able to tell a great story and really keep the crowd engaged. There were plenty of close calls during this match, with both Superstars kicking out of the other one’s finisher. The end finally came when a hooded man attacked Roman Reigns from behind, before Wyatt hit The Sister Abigail for the win. He then revealed himself to be Luke Harper and the Wyatt Family (which never should’ve dissolved) appears to be back together.
Winner: Bray Wyatt
Match Rating: 8/10
Divas Triple Threat Match
After the awesome introduction of the NXT Divas on last week’s RAW, we anticipated that a Divas match would be added to this card. Stephanie McMahon announced earlier in the night that there would be a triple threat match with each trio of Divas choosing one representative to take part in the match. The three Divas chosen were Brie Bella (arguably the stronger in-ring wrestler of the twins), Charlotte and Sasha Banks.
In what is supposed to be the start of a new day in the Divas division (no, not that New Day), we were treated to an exciting and face-paced match. The three Divas combined really well and had some interesting spots throughout the match, like at one point where Sasha Banks lined up Charlotte on the middle rope and Brie on the bottom rope in the corner, then slammed through both of them in an innovative spot that got a great crowd reaction. Both Charlotte and Sasha Banks had the best high spots of the night (so far) by diving out of the ring and taking out groups of Divas, which even led to a “This Is Awesome!” chant.
The end came when Brie Bella went for her finisher on Charlotte, who reversed and locked Brie in the Figure Eight. An all-around strong match for the Divas and hopefully the start of a true revolution in the division. They were given more than three minutes and they delivered!
Match Rating: 8.5/10
John Cena (C) vs. Kevin Owens
After their two incredible matches at the last two WWE PPVs, we got the rubber match in the terrific feud between Cena and Owens and these two absolutely didn’t disappoint. From the get go, the crowd was electric and gave this match a big match feel.
Now, similar to a lot of the matches on this card (there were very few high flyers and more power wrestlers on the card), this was another powerful and well-paced match, as both wrestlers told a great story and did well to work the crowd into the match. There were some great high spots in the match too, like Owens hitting a spinning superplex, an impressive flipping sit-down powerbomb by Cena and Owens catching Cena mid-air for a sit-down powerbomb. There was plenty of innovation in a lot of the moves and combinations and both fighters deserve plenty of credit for putting on another terrific fight. Cena does not get nearly enough credit for his work and he’s put on several five-star matches this year.
There were several near pinfalls in this one, including Owens kicking out a fraction of a second before three after an AA from the second rope. The end came when Cena locked in the STF on Owens, who tapped. A bland way to end an absolutely terrific match between these two. It would’ve made more sense to me for Owens to win and get the push, but they did well to make Owens look like a tough competitor.
Winner: John Cena (C)
Match Rating: 9.5/10 (lost a half point for the ending)
Seth Rollins (C) vs. Brock Lesnar
Before this match, The Miz came out to a cut a promo about his cancelled match with Ryback and Big Show (Ryback has an injury). He cut a great promo, as he usually does, saying that Big Show has been missing since The Attitude Era. For some reason, Big Show came out to unload a KO punch, proving that WWE loves switching him from face to heel at random.
We then got to finally see the match we knew was coming at the end of WrestleMania 31, Rollins vs. Lesnar. Within a couple of minutes, we were brought back to Suplex City as Lesnar unleashed a series of German Suplexs on Rollins. Rollins then tried to escape through the crowd, before Lesnar hurdled the barricade (which was super impressive) and threw Rollins back into hell. This was a solid and entertaining match, with Lesnar doing everything we expect and want of him, while Rollins made sure to focus on Lesnar’s leg to mount his offense and make it look believable.
Then, it happened. The lights went out, the bell tolled and The Undertaker was alone in the ring with Lesnar. He choke-slammed him and then tombstoned him…twice, finally getting revenge for his WM 30 loss. Rollins didn’t even re-enter the ring for the pin as it was a DQ and he had retained the title. The PPV ended with The Undertaker leaving triumphantly, setting up a blockbuster match at SummerSlam!
Winner: Seth Rollins (C)
Match Rating:: 8/10
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