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WWE Battleground 2016 Review

We've now come to the final stop to SummerSlam and the final night before each brand begins its new era. WWE had to end things off with a bang. Much of the buildup revolved around the brand split and we had the Roman Reigns suspension lurking in the main event storyline.

The former Shield brothers are finally competing in the triple threat match we've wanted to see for two years. It's a little disappointing such a big match would happen at Battleground, but perhaps this is only one of several we'll see.

We're also getting what's billed as somewhat of a blowoff match between Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. This is likely a matchup we'll see many more times in the future.

To round out the card, we had John Cena, Enzo Amore and Big Cass against AJ Styles and The Club. We also had The Miz against Darren Young for the IC title, The New Day against The Wyatt Family, and Charlotte & Dana Brooke vs. Sasha Banks and a mystery partner. In the undercard, we had Zack Ryder against Rusev for the U.S. title and Becky Lynch vs. Natalya. on the preshow, as well as Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin who were bumped down.

Event Card (in no particular order):

- Pre-Show:

The Usos vs. Breezango

- United States Championship

Rusev (c) vs. Zack Ryder

- Singles Match

Becky Lynch vs. Natalya

Six-Man Tag

The New Day vs. The Wyatt Family

 

- Intercontinental Championship

The Miz (c) vs. Darren Young

- Singles Match

Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens

Six-Man Tag

John Cena, Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. The Club

- Women's Tag Match

Charlotte & Dana Brooke vs. Sasha Banks & Mystery Partner

- WWE World Heavyweight Championship

Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns

How did the show play out? How would WWE set us up on the road to SummerSlam? We discuss that here.

The #WWEBattleground #WWEKickoff is about to get #USOCRAZY! @uceyjucey @jonathanfatu

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The kick-off show ended with a SmackDown matchup, featuring Breezango and The Usos. It'll be interesting to see how these teams are built, considering the World Tag Team Championship is heading to RAW with The New Day.

The crowd was pretty hot for Breezango in this match, electing to cheer the two NXT alumni over the babyface Usos. The Usos got the early momentum in this match, as Jimmy Uso hit a superkick to Fandango and followed it up with a pair of Samoan drops on Fandango and Breeze. Eventually Breeze turned things around with a Supermodel Superkick (I know, too many superkicks).

Jimmy Uso eventually regained momentum and went for the Uso Splash, but thanks to a distraction from Fandango, he was distracted long enough for Breeze to get a knee up on the splash. Breeze then locked Uso in a small package for the win.

Winner: Breezango

Match Rating: 6.5/10

Who is @sashabankswwe mystery partner?! #WWEBattleground #WWE

We've waited in anticipation to see who Sasha Banks' mystery partner would be. If Sasha wasn't getting a title match at Battleground, it had to be a hell of a tag match right? Well, we got our wish as The Boss's mystery partner was... BAYLEY! After a disappointing draft that saw Bayley undrafted, we get her WWE main roster debut here.

This was a very simple, but well executed match. Bayley got enough offense in to make an impression, the heels built their heat early in the match and a tag to Sasha changed the momentum of the match in favor of the babyfaces. Sasha locked in the Bank Statement on Charlotte after a Backstabber. Sasha scored the victory by submission, leading you to believe we'll have Sasha vs Charlotte for the Women's Championship at SummerSlam.

Bayley and Sasha embraced in a hug following the match to cap it all off.

Winner: Sasha Banks and Bayley

Match Rating: 7.5/10

#TheNewDay are here to bring the positivity to #WWEBattleground!

A photo posted by WWE (@wwe) on

Here we have the final time we'll see Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, Erick Rowan and Braun Strowman all together, as Wyatt and Rowan were drafted to SmackDown, while Harper and Strowman are RAW bound. This storyline's been a little wacky, as you expected from these two teams, but even seemed to borrow themes from the infamous "Final Deletion" storyline in TNA.

The match's early theme included Xavier Woods showing his fear of the Wyatts, as he stood frozen when tagged into the match. The Wyatts dominated the early portion of the match, as Kofi took most of the punishment. The tag was eventually made to Big E who got some offense in before both teams intervened. When the dust cleared Kofi found himself in the ring with Bray before Woods confronted Wyatt, but he stood frozen in fear. Eventually Woods 'faced his fear' and began getting some offense in on Wyatt.

Unfortunately, Bray's crawling spider spooked Woods again and Bray hit the Sister Abigail for the win. We'll see how this loss affects The New Day going forward, considering they're the team that's staying together going into the brand split.

Match Rating: The Wyatt Family

Winner: 7/10

Can @zryder85 reclaim the #USTitle at #WWEBattleground?! #WWE

Well, unsurprisingly Lana looked ravishing, as she came to the ring in a white outfit and tiara to introduce Rusev. With so many superstars holding titles on RAW, would SmackDown's Ryder pull off an upset and bring the U.S. Championship to SmackDown?

Zack Ryder came to the ring in a throwback outfit, looking like a mesh of Macho Man Randy Savage, The Ultimate Warrior and Sting. Pretty cool if you ask me.

Unsurprisingly, Rusev dominated much of the match, with Ryder coming into this thing as the huge underdog. Eventually though, Ryder got some offense in, landing a Broski Boot, and Rough Ryder but a top-rope elbow was countered by Rusev. He followed it up with The Accolade, getting the submission victory. It looked like Ryder would power out for a second, but Rusev clamped it on even harder to score the win. Rusev continued to beat Ryder down, but Mojo Rawley came down to make the save, chasing Rusev off.

Pretty standard dominant victory for Rusev, likely to set up a bigger feud for the Bulgarian Brute heading into SummerSlam.

Winner: Rusev

Match Rating: 5/10

via wwe.com

Watching Kevin Owens build his heel heat is a thing of beauty and this match was no different. Owens just has it in his DNA to be a heel, while Zayn is so likable as a face. Despite that, the crowd was still fairly split, with many smarks cheering Owens on.

Zayn took a really risky move, springboarding into a spinning kick, but he landed hard on his shoulder, which was injured last year. Owens went after it, so it was likely an angle getting worked into the match.

After selling the injury, the competitors picked it up a few gears, hitting several of their signature moves, including a Frog Splash by Kevin Owens and a Blue Thunder Bomb by Zayn. Zayn got his foot on the rope following a Pop Up Powerbomb by Owens. After some slaps by Owens, Zayn made his comeback. He retaliated and hit a pair of Exploder Suplexes before hitting a Helluva Kick. After holding KO, he threw him back in the corner and hit a second Helluva Kick for the win. Finally, Zayn picks up a win over Owens, ending this feud... for now.

The whole story was built so well, as it was all about Zayn exercising his biggest demon. While this match was billed as a final score, I sincerely doubt this is the last we've seen from these two.

Winner: Sami Zayn

Match Rating: 9/10

@beckylynchwwe is straight fire. #WWEBattleground #WWE

A photo posted by WWE (@wwe) on

This match got the unfortunate spot on the card of having to follow Zayn vs. Owens. There really wasn't much heat going into this match, and it was definitely the forgotten of the two women's matches on this card.

Natalya spent much of the match working Becky's leg, working a methodical pace as the veteran heel. After blocking several attempts of the Dis-arm-her, Natalya locked on the Sharpshooter, but Becky quickly reached the ropes. After a cheap shot behind the referee, she locked it in again, and this time Becky submitted.

With no Women's Championship on SmackDown, you have to think there will be more to this feud, as Becky is undoubtedly SmackDown's top woman. It seemed like a decent match, but this was put in the very worst spot of the show, following Zayn/Owens.

Winner: Natalya

Match Rating: 5.5/10

Day 111: @mikethemiz and @therealmaryseouellet at #WWEBattleground!

I don't know about you, but I'm on board with the "make Darren Young great again" gimmick. Judging from how the event played out though, with the U.S. championhip staying on RAW, it seemed like a lock for The Miz to win this match, as SmackDown needs a title (Young was drafted to RAW).

Unfortunately, this match just didn't seem to have the crowd's attention or interest. Eventually Bob Backlund's antics worked the crowd back into it. Maryse would slap Backlund, prompting Backlund to go crazy and distract Miz. After The Miz knocked Backlund down, Young clamped on the Crossface Chicken Wing on the outside.

For some reason, the bell rang, appearing to signal a finish, but no decision was announced, leaving us confused. A very unclear finish, which ruined whatever this match had. WWE.com says that the match was a double disqualification, but that's pretty weak, considering Young only had a submission in for a few seconds on the outside.

Winner: Double Disqualification - Miz retains

Match Rating: 4/10

#TheClub wants to teach @johncena @wweaallday21 @bigcasswwe one lesson...no one is safe! #KarlAnderson #LukeGallows @ajstylesp1

A photo posted by WWE (@wwe) on

This match couldn't come soon enough after two letdown matches following the Zayn/Owens clash. Enzo & Cass got to share the big stage with Cena, while this would be The Club's last night with AJ Styles leading them. Enzo cut a killer promo to open things up before The Club made their entrance.

Enzo and Cass were in the ring for most of the match, but the crowd still felt the need to include Cena with the "let's go Cena!" and "Cena sucks!" chants. Eventually Enzo made the hot tag to Cena, who unsurprisingly, brought momentum to his team. Chaos ensued, with each competitor getting a move in, while Cena and Styles were left as the legal men. From here, the match essentially dissolved into a tornado tag match, with neither team bothering to stand on the apron.

When the dust settled, Styles tried to sneak up on Cena from the top rope, but Cena caught him with an AA off the turnbuckle to give his team the win.

Overall, a very fun match, with everything you'd want out of a six-man tag.

Winner: John Cena, Enzo Amore & Big Cass

Match Rating: 8/10

What questions will @chrisjerichofozzy ask #TheViper @randyorton on the #HighlightReel!!?

After being out of action for nine months with a shoulder injury, Randy Orton made his on-screen return, as a guest on Chris Jericho's Highlight Reel. You now had to wonder how Randy Orton and Brock Lesnar's SummerSlam matchup would be built. Lesnar is coming off a UFC 200 victory, marred in controversy with a potential anti-doping violation. Paul Heyman isn't under contract, so the build up will likely depend on what Randy Orton could cook up.

Orton got a pretty good reaction from the Washington D.C. crowd. After addressing how great it was to be back, he and Jericho began taking jabs at each other. After saying Jericho had Ellen DeGeneres type hair, the two finally began to address Brock Lesnar. A video package for Lesnar then played. Jericho said Orton was screwed. Orton said while it takes 20 suplexes to get to Suplex City, it takes just one RKO to get to Viperville. Orton then quipped, "no enhancement needed" in regard to Lesnar's drug test.

After some more taunting by Jericho, Orton hit the RKO to close the segment. Overall a decent start to build the Lesnar/Orton match.

Rating: 7.5/10

The main event for the #WWEChampionship. #WWEBattleground #RomanReigns #DeanAmbrose @wwerollins

A photo posted by WWE (@wwe) on

You always thought a match like this would happen at WrestleMania or SummerSlam, but alas we get it at Battleground. We have the added dimension of determing what show would get the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. We also had the return of Roman Reigns from his 30-day suspension. He was unsurprisingly booed out of the building when he made his entrance.

The early portion of the match saw both Reigns and Ambrose attacking Rollins, but it wasn't long before that alliance dissolved.

The crowd was enjoying the match and only seemed to be in disapproval whenever Reigns seemed to get a move in. Eventually, Rollins and Ambrose teamed up to take out Reigns, double powerbombing him through the announce table. (Roman's usual midmatch break).

We then got to enjoy some one-on-one action between Rollins and Ambrose. Reigns then came in though, delivering powerbombs to both opponents. Rollins eventually gained the upperhand, landing a Pedigree on Reigns, but Reigns kicked out. Reigns then hit spear on Rollins, but Ambrose sneaked up on Reigns and landed Dirty Deeds for the three count.

Dean Ambrose retains and the WWE Championship is going to SmackDown. Will RAW soon have its own World Championship?

Winner: Dean Ambrose

Match Rating: 8/10

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