The Battleground pay-per-view for the WWE came and went on July 23, 2017, and most of the reviews are poor. A show that few had an interest in watching, an arena that wasn't close to a sellout, and storylines that had few people in the WWE Universe invested went pretty much as planned—with little fanfare and resoundingly disappointing results.
One of the matches the WWE was hoping would sell tickets was, in fact, one of the more disappointing moments of the show. Yes, The Great Khali did make his return to help Jinder Mahal retain his title (that was somewhat unexpected), and yes, there were some pretty wicked bumps by the Singh's, but the Punjabi Prison that was designed to give this feud more fuel actually hindered the contest. Former WWE Superstar X-Pac had an interesting theory as to why.
In a tweet that made the rounds rather quickly, Sean Waltman (X-Pac) noticed something was missing from the main event. The imagery was there, but the cage/prison wasn't scary. It was thanks to a lack of any noise that came with every thundering blow to the prison's deathly devices. Fans could see what was happening, but, because they couldn't hear the damage, it wasn't believable. Randy Orton — one of the competitors in that match—agreed.
I wish the Punjabi Prison made more noise when someone hits it.— Sean Waltman (@TheRealXPac) July 24, 2017
No one can hear you hit it, but at least it hurts like a motherf'r!— Sean Waltman (@TheRealXPac) July 24, 2017
The above twitter exchange between Waltman and Orton is not a good sign for the WWE. When one of its own talents is openly criticizing the way the main event of the show he's headlining comes off to the audience, it has to be considered an indication the match needs to be removed from the rotation, or the cage needs to be re-designed.
Both wrestlers seem to agree and their point is well taken, but there is a very good chance none of this matters. It was 10 years ago that the company held its last Punjabi Prison match and it looks as though Mahal's successful title defense is simply a set up so that the champion of the blue brand can battle John Cena at SummerSlam—in a match Mahal will likely lose.
Instead of the company using cages or gimmicks, Cena and Mahal will likely square off in a one-on-one battle that really isn't one-on-one. Mahal will have the Singh Brothers and now Khali in his corner. That should be enough of an obstacle for Cena to overcome.
That is of course unless the WWE chooses to stretch out Mahal's title run and rep for the country of India longer than they already have. If that's the case, fans will be subject to a number of Cena versus Mahal matches, many of which may suffer the same fate as Battleground.