And guess who’s back.Battleground 2015
Date: July 19, 2015
Location: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Missouri
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Jerry Lawler
It’s time for the show that is here to fill time until it’s Summerslam, which usually isn’t the most interesting thing in the world. The main event tonight is Seth Rollins defending the World Title against Brock Lesnar in Brock’s return title match after Rollins stole the title at Wrestlemania. We also have Owens vs. Cena III for Cena’s US Title which has the potential to steal the show again. Let’s get to it.
Pre-Show: King Barrett vs. R-Truth
Back with Barrett stretching the arms and JBL talking about working on a rap album with Truth. This goes about as far as you would expect until Truth fights back and gets two off an ax kick. Lawler: “He’s got the whole world in his nose!” Winds of Change gets two on Truth and the Bull Hammer FINALLY gives Barrett the pin at 9:10.
Rating: F. The wrestling sucked, but this fails due to the jokes and the story. This has been a lame story since the beginning and they’ve made no secret about the fact that no one cares what happens here. Barrett is right back where he started and that’s not something you want from someone who is supposed to be a big deal after winning the tournament. Awful stuff and please let him do anything new, as long as it’s serious.
The opening video talks about how the matches tonight have led to a battleground to decide their final fate. This isn’t exactly making up for the lame build.
Randy Orton vs. Sheamus
This is due to Sheamus helping Kane beat Orton a few weeks back, triggering a feud that most people aren’t all that interested in seeing. Big pop for the hometown Orton, even though he isn’t billed from St. Louis here. Feeling out process to start with Sheamus bailing to the floor, only to have Randy follow him outside to start the beating. The fans get behind Orton but the match immediately gets back to its boring pace.
Sheamus comes back with a kick to the ribs and Orton is in trouble. Three straight Irish Curses put Orton down again for two and a knee drop gets the same. It’s time to hit that chinlock as this is normally the time where we would be coming back from a commercial. Back up and they slug it out with Orton getting the better of it (duh) before they head outside to keep up the fight.
Orton drops him onto the table and snaps off the powerslam for two more back inside. The elevated DDT is countered with a necksnap across the top and a tilt-a-whirl powerslam gets another two. Can we please get to the pay per view level stuff and drop this TV style? I know it’s the most important thing but it’s still nothing I want to see. Both finishers are countered so Sheamus plants him with White Noise for two.
Sheamus goes up but eats a bunch of right hands, setting up the superplex for, say it with me, two. The elevated DDT connects this time and the place goes nuts for the RKO set up but Sheamus rolls him up for two. The Brogue Kick connects out of nowhere but Sheamus can’t cover. Instead it’s the Cloverleaf with Orton having to crawl to the ropes twice. Not that it matters as the RKO finishes Sheamus at 16:46.
Rating: C+. This took its time to get going but the second half was far better than the first. In other words, it was another good TV match formula transferred over to pay per view. Orton going over here, while annoying in a way, was the right choice for an opener, even though I hate Sheamus losing as Mr. Money in the Bank. Good back and forth stuff here though and I got a lot more into it after that chinlock.
Cole talks about the revolution in the Divas’ division setting social media on fire. Therefore, it’s time to recap the Stephanie segment from Raw because that was the focus of the entire thing. Stephanie saying she set the table was horrible and made Paige’s whole story look worthless because Stephanie had to be there to get the credit for everything.
Stephanie, playing a total face instead of the heel authority figure, sucks up to the live crowd. Tonight there’s a triple threat match between each Divas’ trio and Stephanie will accept nothing less than the house being torn down.
Tag Team Titles: Prime Time Players vs. New Day
New Day is challenging after losing the belts to the Players at Money in the Bank. Before the match, New Day talks about staying positive because they know they have to reap the rewards of their sacrifices soon. Woods is on the floor as Kofi starts with Darren. Kofi is a bit too fast for Young so it’s off to Titus for some VERY loud chops in the corner. A New Day conference leads to a tag to Big E., who eats a legdrop from Titus. Woods: “WORST LEGDROP EVER!”
It’s back to Darren who gets thrown outside as the champs take over, allowing Xavier to be an even more obnoxious (meaning AWESOME) cheerleader. We get the alternating stomps, capped off by a running basement dropkick. Woods: “OH IT’S SO GOOD!” An apron splash gets two on Young (that looked good) and we hit the abdominal stretch.
Woods shouts about tricep meat and Darren scores with an enziguri, setting up the hot tag to Titus so house can be cleaned. Titus’ dominance doesn’t last long though as it’s quickly back to Young. The Midnight Hour is broken up and the Gut Check sends Kofi to the floor. O’Neil comes back in for the Clash of the Titus on Big E. to retain at 8:53.
Rating: D+. Well that’s a surprise. I’m not sure how I feel about the result as the Players are little more than adequate and New Day is still one of the funniest acts in wrestling. The match was nothing to see but the Players retaining is an acceptable result. It’s more of a surprise than anything else, and that’s not the worst thing in the world.
Paige is with Charlotte and Becky Lynch in the back and makes sure to praise Stephanie for starting the revolution. They’re going to tear the house down tonight and rebuild the division brick by brick.
We recap Reigns vs. Wyatt, which started with Bray using Reigns’ daughter to get inside his head, before saying anyone but Reigns. The idea seems to be that Reigns hasn’t earned the hero role and Wyatt wants anyone else there, but as usual it isn’t clear with Bray.
Bray Wyatt vs. Roman Reigns
The fireflies continue to look awesome. They lock up to start with Bray hammering him down in the corner for a bit of a surprise. The fans are WAY into Wyatt here, though it might be more anti-Roman instead. An uppercut sends Wyatt to the floor but he pops Reigns with one of his own to take over again. The cross body block takes Reigns down again but Reigns Samoan drops him out to the floor.
Wyatt is fine with the violence of course and sends Reigns into the steps as this has been almost all Bray so far. They slug it out on the apron for something different, setting up a Wyatt DDT on the apron for something painful. We hit the chinlock and get a creepy Wyatt smile as he pulls back. That’s the kind of thing Wyatt does very well and it’s a great addition to the whole package. Reigns finally powers up with a belly to back suplex to break the hold.
It’s time for the comeback, thankfully with only one standing clothesline. Another belly to back drops Wyatt but he clotheslines Reigns out of the air to break up the apron kick (now the Drive By apparently). Bray adds a backsplash on the floor but takes too long putting Reigns on top, allowing Roman to Batista Bomb him out of the corner for a very close two. The Superman Punch misses but Reigns drops him on the apron again.
The apron boot (screw that Drive By nonsense) connects but Bray shakes it off and Rock Bottoms Reigns (appropriate) for two. Fans: “THAT WAS THREE!” I know they’ve been talking about making Wyatt face for a long time now and the fan support seems to be there. Sister Abigail is countered into the Superman Punch (with Bray falling before it connected) for two. This is surprising, despite that almost never being a finisher. Reigns gets all fired up and tries the spear but eats a boot, followed by getting all fired up again but charging into a right hand. You have to change it up a bit you see.
Sister Abigail is broken up (obvious due to being a slow kiss) so Reigns hits ten clotheslines in the corner and another Samoan drop. Both guys are spent so Bray grabs some chairs. Reigns knocks them away just as quickly though and grabs chairs of his own. All four chairs wind up in the ring but someone in a hood superkicks Reigns, allowing Bray to hit Sister Abigail for the pin at 22:10.
Rating: B. I liked this more than I thought I would and Bray getting the win is a very nice sign. Reigns is going to be a big deal and Wyatt could be as well, but at some point you need to win matches like this one. The interference is a good sign as well with Bray’s best days being as a cult leader, so why not let him try it again?
The guy gets in the ring and it’s….Luke Harper, so maybe the reunion is on.
Naomi, Tamina and Sasha Banks (collectively known as B.A.D., meaning Beautiful and Dangerous, as well as the fact that they’re doomed because that’s a horrible name) are ready for the triple threat.
Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte vs. Nikki Bella
All nine are here. Nikki and Sasha have a staredown before the match and it’s going to be Brie instead. Oh yay.
Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte vs. Brie Bella
Thankfully Brie is sent outside early on, leaving the two that know what they’re doing in the ring. Charlotte gets her throat snapped across the top rope, leaving Brie to come in with her catfight style Thesz press. That’s fine with Sasha, who sends both of them to the corner for the double knees to the ribs for two each. It seems that they’re keeping Brie out of the action for the most part here and it’s no secret that that’s a good idea.
Sasha headscissors Charlotte down for two and hits a pair of running knees in the corner for the same. Brie makes a save as the fans want Becky. Charlotte clotheslines both of them down but Brie comes back with her own screaming clotheslines. A double bulldog kind of works but Brie just gets two on both. Back up and Sasha sidesteps a charge, sending Charlotte into Brie instead. They’re doing a really good job of keeping Brie limited here while the talented ones do their thing.
Brie comes back in with a double missile dropkick (with the camera barely catching it), setting up the BRIE MODE running knees to the chest. The Bellas huddle on the floor but are quickly surrounded, setting up a BIG staredown. Sasha dives through the ropes to take out a lot of them, followed by Charlotte diving on the rest. Back in and Brie breaks up the Bank Statement on Charlotte, only to have the Bella Buster countered into the Figure Eight for the submission at 11:31. Cole: “TEAM BELLA IS MORTAL!” Oh shut up Michael.
Rating: C+. This was as well booked as they could have made it. You want to keep Nikki away from these newcomers as long as you can and Brie is about as perfect of a sacrifice as there is. It was clear that Brie couldn’t hang with the other two and it would have been crazy to imply she could. This was better than I was expecting and it’s clear that they want the Divas to mean something, which is a great sign.
The preshow panel recaps the night, including Barrett beating Truth.
Long recap of Cena vs. Owens. They traded wins in their first two classics but tonight Cena’s US Title is on the line. Owens claims that Cena keeps disrespecting him but Owens has never been the kind of guy that says what he really means.
US Title: John Cena vs. Kevin Owens
Cena is defending and gets the JOHN CENA SUCKS song. Cena: “RAIN IT DOWN!” Owens gets in the first big shot to start and slugs Cena down with forearms to the back. More big shots put Cena down and the backsplash (just wait until Owens or Bray have to drop that one) gets two. Cena tries a comeback with a dropkick but Owens puts him down one more time, only to miss a swanton. It’s really impressive that a guy his size can do something like that.
Owens busts out Cena’s finishing sequence but the AA is countered into Cena’s STF. The rope is quickly grabbed as Cena starts his comeback, only to Kevin catch the top rope legdrop into a sitout powerbomb for two more. An AA gets two for the champ, thereby fulfilling the quota for the match. The sunset bomb gets the same but Owens busts out the swinging superplex for the same.
Back up and the Pop Up Powerbomb is countered with a hurricanrana, setting up an AA to Cena, followed by an STF to really fire up the crowd. John finally makes the ropes and dives for a tornado DDT, which still doesn’t put Owens away. The Springboard Stunner does better than usual but Owens stays going and takes Cena’s head off with a clothesline. No cover though, as Owens goes with the brainbuster onto the knee for two instead.
Another AA gets another two on Kevin and the Pop Up Powerbomb gets the same on the champ. Owens heads up top again and gets caught one more time, setting up the super AA for two. I don’t think anyone has ever kicked out of that one before so well done. Cena has the same face he had when the Rock beat him at Wrestlemania so it’s off to a rematch that no one wanted to see. Actually it’s the STF instead and Owens taps at 22:14.
Rating: B+. I didn’t like this one quite as much as the other two and I have no idea why you don’t put the title on Owens here. Owens kicked out of the super finisher and then just taps out to the regular finish? That’s some backwards booking to put it mildly, despite a great match to get there. Owens will be fine, but this really should have been his big moment. As a sidebar, they really didn’t put Cesaro and/or Rusev on this show somewhere? Really?
Here’s Miz for a chat instead of the Intercontinental Title match. Miz rips on Ryback for bailing on the match because it’s messed up his branding team’s plans for talk show appearances as the new champion. He knows he’s the toughest man in St. Louis and thinks Big Show should retire like everyone wants him do do. Big Show comes out and lays Miz out with one punch as you would expect him to do.
Long recap of Rollins vs. Lesnar. Seth stole the World Title by cashing in Money in the Bank at Wrestlemania, but tonight Lesnar is out for revenge and his title. Brock has also broken Kane’s ankle and put the Stooges out of action to make this one on one. Also something about breaking a car for some product placement.
WWE World Heavyweight Title: Seth Rollins vs. Brock Lesnar
Seth is defending of course but Brock drives him into the corner for some shoulders to the ribs. An early German attempt sends Seth outside and the champ gets Brock to chase him. Back in and some kicks to the leg have Brock staggered, but Rollins dives into the first German. Three more send Rollins flying and it’s out to the floor. He tries to run but Brock just hurdles the barricade and throws him back to ringside. Well that’s one way to get him back.
German #6 has Rollins in even more trouble and Brock looks livid. Rollins backflips out of #7 and hits a superkick (way too common a move tonight), followed by three straight low superkicks. Another regular superkick means Rollins can apply to be a Young Buck, but the Pedigree is easily countered. Rollins hits a pair of suicide dives but Brock charges in and throws Rollins with a belly to belly.
Brock rolls three more Germans (10), followed by a release for #11. We’re up to thirteen and Rollins looks dead. The F5 connects…….and we’ve got Undertaker. Brock looks terrified but escapes a chokeslam. The F5 is countered and Undertaker kicks him in the face. We’ll say the match was thrown out at 9:00.
Rating: C+. I really didn’t like this one as I’m getting tired of all the suplexes. I know Brock is capable of doing other stuff but he’s basically a popular Royal Rumble 2003 Scott Steiner in this formula. It’s still entertaining enough but Brock can do more stuff than just throw Germans everywhere all the time. This was probably their best idea, but I’m not sure who goes after the belt next.
The chokeslam works the second time and Brock gets tombstoned for good measure. Rollins is nowhere in sight during any of this. A second Tombstone has Heyman freaking out and Undertaker poses to end the show. The fans were behind him so I think it’s face vs. face at Summerslam.
Overall Rating: B-. This was a really tricky one to grade as it’s much more a collection of good to quite good matches instead of a great show. The Undertaker stuff could go a bunch of ways, but it’s cool to see him doing ANYTHING other than his usual Wrestlemania appearance. The show was better than I was expecting and for a Summerslam warmup, I’ll call it a big success. Just keep the scale in mind when you consider that big success.
Randy Orton b. Sheamus – RKO
Prime Time Players b. New Day – Clash of the Titus to Big E.
Bray Wyatt b. Roman Reigns – Sister Abigail
Charlotte b. Brie Bella and Sasha Banks – Figure Eight to Bella
John Cena b. Kevin Owens – STF
Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins went to a no contest when Undertaker interfered
Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews, check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and pick up my new book, KB’s WWE Grab Bag at Amazon for just $3.99 at:
And check out my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at: