I haven't watched WWE programming for over a month now, as I've been caught up with ROH, the beauty that is Lucha Underground, and the stirring mess that has become Impact Wrestling. Therefore, going into Battleground, I wasn't sure what I should expect, or what I even should take away from the night. Sometimes with the WWE product, removing yourself for a while is the best thing you can possibly do. There weekly programming just doesn't feel overwhelmingly special anymore.
Regardless of my stay-away attitude from the weekly shows and products, I always seem to find myself engaged with their pay-per-views...errr, special events, or whatever. I'm not even sure if these shows are considered pay-per-views anymore. Nonetheless, I've become to really enjoy the PPV's and special show, as is the same with NXT, and even more so fast-forwarding my way through a DVR'ed edition of RAW or NXT.
Nonetheless, it's Battleground. A very stacked and interesting card, and I am intrigued. Here are some thoughts and takeaways from tonight's show:
- The opening video package was fantastically done. The WWE is second no one in this department. And that includes all other forms of entertainment. Just all-around great stuff.
- First off, Sheamus looks utterly ridiculous. I can't blame the crowd for the "you look stupid" chant, despite its bias of being Randy Orton's hometown. After getting past the "new" (not necessarily improved) Sheamus, I found myself without any feelings for this once the match started. Quite frankly, haven't we seen this 456948828291984869043 times already?!!
However, both men proved me wrong with a fantastic opener which started a roll of excellent matches all night. This one went back and forth until Orton hit the RKO (yes, outta no where!) for the win. I'm not sure what this means for both as WWE seems to have one big angle and everyone else just floating along, but this was a fun opener.
- The New Day is very entertaining. When they debuted, I had my doubts, and kudos to the WWE in going with the flow of turning them heel. Xavier Woods yelling "Worst leg drop EVER!" was by far the funniest thing all night. Also, it's very nice to see Woods develop from his "Consequences Creed" days.
Another great tag match that solidified WWE's tag division which is the best in the industry. Depth and defined pairings, with very over acts like the New Day. Especially, the rhythmic chant associated with the crew. Good stuff.
- The Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt match had very little juice with me. Again, I didn't watch much WWE leading into this so I'm unaware of the backstory, but Bray Wyatt just seems like a hot act who hasn't won or done anything significant in forever, and Reigns continues to plug along in shaking the skeptics.
After awhile, the hard hitting back-and-forth contest provided by these two developed into a nice match. I wasn't overly taken back by Harper rejoining Wyatt as I never understood why they split, and what they've been doing of significance since they split. Whatever. Another solid match.
- I'm very happy to see WWE bring up their crop of talented women performers to the main roster. I'm not ready to claim WWE has the best women's division as they need to keep this "revolution" consistent, but it's easily the best talented roster going today.
The triple threat match included Sasha Banks and Charlotte doing all of the heavy lifting with some Brie sprinkled in. I try not to hate on the Bellas, as I think the reality sideshow hurts their image among die hard fans more so than anything, but it was easy to see they were leading a very weak division up until now. Probably the weakest in the company's history. Glad to see the added influx, and I can't wait to see more from all of the women involved.
WWE really has something great with NXT as a development brand.
Is it me, or is chanting the name of an organization in admiration sort of...well, played out? None will ever be EC-dub. #WWEBattleground— Dome Pondering (@DomePondering) July 20, 2015
By the way, chanting "NXT" at former NXT-ers is becoming weird. The chant isn't anti-establishment, and quite frankly, I just thinking chanting the name of a wrestling company has become so played out and overdone. But eh, so are so many other conditional chants these days such as "this is awesome". Ugh...that's my soap box rant for the moment.
- I really liked this match from Cena and Owens. The first of the three is still my favorite due to the shock value, but this was good. The kicking out of finishers and false finishes have become a bit overdone to the point where there was a feeling of "jumping the shark" in the match. WWE for the most part is always very solid with their ring psychology, and it seems they went outside of the playbook with this one.
Again, things like that can ruin a match. Off topic (again, I know...), this past week on ROH TV, I saw Adam Page do a shooting star press shoulder block from off the apron to his opponent. Yes, you read that right! A shooting star press shoulder block off the apron. It looked more ridiculous than it sounds. Seriously, what is the point of doing that? Anyway, sorry. Back to business...
Cena gets a lot of garbage from fans, and I'm probably going to annoy a lot of my readers and fellow wrestling fans, but the guy is the best. If there is a overall draft today of professional wrestlers, John Cena is going #1 overall. An absolute workhorse. And in big matches, he delivers. Like tonight. And dare I say, Cena is my pick thus far for the 2015 DP Wrestler of the Year. Still a few months remaining, though.
Big Show = Face, Heel, Face, Cry, Heel, Face, Cry, Heel, Face... #WWEBattleground— Dome Pondering (@DomePondering) July 20, 2015
- For the record, was The Miz lying about what he said about Big Show? I think the guy is a supreme talent with plenty of range, but the overall booking of The Big Show throughout his career has really hurt him. Here is what I wrote a few months back on that - The Big Show's Career Incomplete?
- And then there was the main event. I absolutely love how special seeing Brock Lesnar wrestle has become. Criticize his limited appearances all you want, but when you see him wrestle, it's definitely a rare visual and feeling.
Overall, this match was everything that encompasses "Suplex City". But of course, the big story is in fact the return of the Undertaker for Brock Lesnar in a truly special moment. The WWE is the ONLY company that gets these moments right as they allow time to tell the story, and the moment to speak for itself. Just classic WWE. TNA and ROH could could learn plenty from a moment like that.
Personal issues equate to dollars. Tonight Taker isn't a heel & neither is Lesnar. It's PERSONAL. #SummerSlam #WWEBattleground— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) July 20, 2015
Undertaker looked super old, but it was still cool nonetheless. Jim Ross hit the nail on the head as the story doesn't need a face or heel, as a personal grudge sells it all. I'll be at the Barclays Center for SummerSlam and I'm hoping this is on the card. Oh joy!!
All in all, Battleground might be the most enjoyable pay-per-view outside of Wrestlemania 31 this calendar year in my opinion. For me, the show encompasses everything why the WWE is king and is quite frankly, better than everyone else. Production. Development of talent. Marketing. Storytelling. And overall, a buzz that leaves you interested in the buildup to their 2nd biggest show of the year.
I know I'm hooked - entertained tonight, with a purchased ticket for SummerSlam, and overall, very intrigued to check out RAW tomorrow night. WWE for the win, tonight.