WWE’s annual Battleground pay-per-view was on Sunday as it emanated from the Verizon Center in Washington DC. This PPV was being seen more as a placeholder as this was the first PPV in the post brand extension and nothing was expected significantly to happen. Here are five thoughts I take from the event-
They are trying to make Rusev seem like a monster heel again with the US title
Last night, Rusev beat Zack Ryder in somewhat of a squash match. Since Rusev won the title from Kalisto at Extreme Rules back in May of 2016, he has dominated in his feuds against Titus O’Neil and Zack Ryder. What will be interesting to see is with Mojo Rawley being thrown into the mix as he came out to help his HypeBros partner if we get a match with Rusev and a partner against the Hype Bros
When will Charlotte ever defend her title again?
Charlotte last put her woman’s title on the line back at Extreme Rules in May of 2016 against Natayla. Since then, she has not put up her title to be defended. While the feeling is she will end up putting the title on the line at Summerslam, it doesn’t do well for the championship to only be defended once in a while. During Nikki Bella’s 301 day reign as the Divas Champion, she would also go through stretches of time without defending her title. Charlotte is a great in-ring worker, but since she has been a heel, it has been a rather bad run.
Bayley showing up last night was a surprise
In the woman’s tag match, it was Charlotte and Dana Brooke against Sasha Banks and a mystery partner. In the weeks leading up to Battleground, the rumor mills were buzzing with possible names that went from Nikki Bella to Paige to recent NXT call up Nia Jax. However, in the end, it was the former NXT woman’s champion Bayley who was the partner.
The reaction she got when she came out was amazing. In the days of the internet and the dirt sheets, you typically don’t get an organic reaction like you did last night. If I can compare it to a recent return or debut, look back at last years Summerslam when the Dudley Boyz made their return. Both incidents were the rare time when you were surprised and not expecting the person to walk out onto the stage area.
The preshow match made no sense
Approximately twenty-four hours before Battleground, the WWE announced through their website that the Usos were going to have a tag match against Breezeango (Tyler Breeze and Fandago). There was no prior mention on RAW or Smackdown, and this was felt like a last-minute match. Also with how deep the tag team roster is in WWE, it seems unlikely that Breezeango winning the match will bring them up the ranks. So there was no true point to this match at all.
It seems there’s no value in the Intercontinental Title
If we go back to Wrestlemania 32, Zack Ryder ended up winning the title in a ladder match, then the next night on RAW the Miz ended up winning the title. Thus, ending Ryder’s brief run at being the IC champ. Fast forward to Extreme Rules, there was a four-way match for the title, the Miz ended up retaining. Then for some reason, they took the title off TV for a month so the Miz can film the Marine 5. When he return, he went over Darren Young in a bad way. It seems that WWE is devaluing the belt in recent months. At this point, either give the Miz a more viable opponent or take the belt off of him and put it on one of the more recent NXT call-ups like Baron Corbin, Apollo Crews, or Finn Balor.
Overall, I wrote my recap for Battleground last week and said that it was going to be a lackluster type of event. I stand corrected, except for the IC title match that had a dull ending the other matches were pretty good. I thought the matches of the night was Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn and the Shield Triple Threat match in the Main Event. The third best match of the night was the Sasha Banks/Bayley vs. Charlotte/Dana Brooke.
However, WWE should buckle up because now we are on the road to Summerslam, and it will be getting rather interesting over the next few weeks. The last thing I will say on Battleground as a whole, I am giving it an 8.5 out of ten. The preshow, US title match, and IC title match are what lead me to give it the grade I did. How did you think Battleground was, let me know in the comments below.