Live from Philadelphia, WWE brings you their second pay per view in 2 weeks and their final one before SummerSlam, the Smackdown exclusive, Battleground.
NEW DAY VS THE USOS
For some reason, the New Day was made up of Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston. Big E played the manager role on the outside. These are 4 really good performers who brought a very high quality tag match to open the show with a really hot, as usual, Philly grade. I like the Usos heel act. It works for me. New Day hasn’t worn too thin yet and still appears to be really loved by the crowd. New Day win the tag titles here with JBL remarking the New Day is the first team to ever win with Raw tag team championship and the Smackdown championship. The illustrious history of those title date all the way back to… mid 2016.
BARON CORBIN VS SHINSUKE NAKAMURA
Full disclose – my attention was divided during this match as I had my eyes on Phelps vs Shark (which I was rather entertained by if for nothing other then the silliness of it. Much like professional wrestling sometimes.) As the match was happening I kept thinking, “This isn’t working for me”. Corbin was dominate. I expected Nakamura to make the big comeback, get the win, and possibly lead to Corbin cashing in tonight. As the King of Strong Style started his comeback Corbin hit him with a low blow. Just like that, the match is over. Lame finish. Corbin came back and hit his finisher on Nakamura but it didn’t matter at the point. Crowd wasn’t feeling it. Neither was I.
(Update Michael Phelps is gonna wear a fin when he races the shark)
CHARLOTTE VS BECKY LYNCH VS LANA VS TAMINA VS NATALYA – ELIMINATION MATCH (WINNER GETS A SHOT AT NAOMI AND THE SMACKDOWN WOMENS TITLE AT SUMMERSLAM)
Are we suppose to forget that Lana and Rusev are married? Or that they were aligned on TV? Why does Lana have an accent on Smackdown but not on Total Divas? Cant we just stop acknowledging her as a Russian? I’m sure Donald Trump would appreciate that also.
(Update: The Shark beat Michael Phelps by 2 seconds despite the fact it appears Michael Phelps false started. Also Phelps complained of cold water. Perhaps a rematch in warmer waters will happen next Shark Week).
Becky Lynch eliminated Tamina with the disarmer. No one thought Tamina was gonna win.
Becky Lynch eliminated Lana with the disarmer. No one thought Lana was gonna win.
Natalya eliminated Becky Lynch by pin fall.
All that happened in about 12 seconds.
Elimination matches are absolutely worthless if you’re going to eliminate that many people that quickly.
Roughly five minutes later Natalya pinned Charlotte after dropping her head on the bottom turnbuckle. No one thought was the end of the match. The crowd didn’t react. When Naomi got in the ring for the face-off, no one reacted. Naomi’s glow in the dark belt is awful. The opening match has been the loan bright spot on this show so far.
KEVIN OWENS VS AJ STYLES (UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH)
(I know these two should have a great match but I’m so disinterested in this PPV I started watching House Party on YouTube)
I don’t know whats going on. Maybe its me. This is just trash. I don’t understand what is happening in this show. Is it me? There was no story in this match. The referee got knocked out, AJ and KO traded submission holds before the two rolled over into what appeared to be a double pin scenario where all four shoulders were on the mat. The bell rang and Owens music immediately started to play. KO was announced the winner and the announcers made no acknowledgment of all four shoulders being down. So Owens, apparently, has regained the US Championship and I’d expect another match at SummerSlam.
4 matches. One solid finish. One poor finish. Two cheap finishes. I also have watched a Shark beat an Olympian and House Party… So the nights not all bad.
JOHN CENA VS RUSEV IN A BATTLE TO SAVE AMERICA… NOT REALLY (FLAG MATCH)
The announcers hyped this as the most important match in John Cena’s career. That ridiculous remark immediately eliminated the tiny bit of interest I had in this match. They tried so hard to make this seem like a brutal triumph of patriotism. I love John Cena. I hated this. Every second of it. Judging by the lack of crowd reaction, Philadelphia hated it too. Cena AAed Rusev through two tables and planted the American flag for the win. Crowd popped for the win. JBL proclaimed it John Cena’s greatest victory. Dear God.
RANDY ORTON VS JINDER MAHAL IN A PUNJABI PRISON MATCH (WWE CHAMPIONSHIP)
I’m struggling to pay attention. The structure is awful. The rules are confusing. Despite two different absolutely ridiculous structures they still managed to have the Singh Brothers interfere. No story. No logic. For about 10 minutes it was 3 on 1. Then The Great Khali returned looking significantly older then the last time we saw him. Dear God. Now its 4 on 1. Reminder, cages, cells, and “prisons” are meant to eliminate outside interference. Awful match to cap a terrible show. Jinder Mahal continues to look like a garbage champion.