Battleground is a final vital stop on a approach to SummerSlam. Sunday’s pay-per-view in Philadelphia looks approaching to tie adult some lax ends, while also environment a theatre for some of SmackDown’s biggest showcase matches in Brooklyn.
On paper, a label looks a bit choppy, yet SmackDown has done a robe of defying expectations. Tim Fiorvanti provides a live recap, with ESPN Stats Info’s Sean Coyle providing ratings for any match.
Jinder Mahal defeats Randy Orton in Punjabi Prison compare (27:40)
A finish summation of this compare can be found here.
Sami Zayn def. Mike Kanellis around pinfall (7:15)
This compare followed a informed pattern. Sami Zayn got out to an early dilemma by laying into Mike Kanellis, yet as Zayn wound adult and looked to strike a self-murder dive, Maria pulled her father out of a way.
We got a lot some-more offense this time around than we did during their brief strife on SmackDown Live, yet that also meant a lot some-more over-the-top displays of affection.
The attribute between Mike and Maria is clearly moulding adult to be both a blessing and a abuse for a Kanellis’ destiny prospects, and when Maria is not in position to help, Mike could be cursed to fail. That was positively a box when Zayn strike a tope criminal hilo over a tip rope, and with small to no assistance from Maria, Zayn totally took control back.
Maria, in ideal time, slid into a ring to forestall an exploder from Zayn onto Mike Kanellis in a corner, yet it usually behind a inevitable. Zayn wriggled out of Kanellis’ grip, strike a exploder, followed with a Helluva Kick and warranted a three-count victory.
Could Zayn pierce on to bigger and improved things? Could a Kanellis’ pierce their PDAs elsewhere? It feels as yet this brief adversary has run a course.
Flag match: John Cena def. Rusev (21:10)
Like a Punjabi Prison match, a dwindle compare sounds good in theory, yet a stipulations of a format mostly infer to be a deadly smirch — and that positively seemed to be a box of John Cena and Rusev.
When Rusev initial came into a WWE as an indestructible monster, using roughshod during an undefeated run, he strike a rise of his career in a lead-up to his United States pretension invulnerability opposite John Cena during WrestleMania 31. Rusev eventually mislaid that match, his pretension and his momentum, and notwithstanding some flashes in a past two-plus years, Rusev has never wholly recovered from that loss.
Rusev dominated many of a early movement in this one, yet in reality, was Cena ever going to remove a dwindle compare or let aged excellence spin disrespected in any way? The amiable throng greeting from a typically boisterous Philadelphia true told we all we indispensable to know about how many of a possibility they gave Rusev going into this match.
As Rusev finally grabbed a Bulgarian flag, his display off and fluttering a dwindle while station on a tip wire got him an Attitude Adjustment for his troubles. Cena hold on to a STF in an try to belligerent Rusev, yet as shortly as he grabbed a American flag, Rusev strike a high using flog to Cena’s face and evened things out once again. Rusev claimed a Bulgarian dwindle and solemnly circled a ring yet ate a using strike from a apron.
Cena ran Rusev into a ring step, claimed a American dwindle and started walking down to a lectern during a tip of a stage. Rusev held him mid down a ramp and dragged him behind to a ring, grabbing a steel stairs and outstanding Cena in a face for good measure. Each male got their flags many of a approach adult a ramp, with Rusev eating a face-full of a LED residence and Cena removing tossed like a broom doll by a fall-away slam.
Rusev sought to symbolically toss Cena from a tip of a American flag-emblazoned lectern with an Attitude Adjustment by a span of tables he’d set adult to a side, yet as we competence imagine, he couldn’t make it happen. Both headed behind onto a ramp, and they collided with a double clothesline, yet Cena rebounded quicker and solemnly started crawling adult ramp and toward a podium. Rusev behind Cena by attack him with a dwindle stand, afterwards sealed in a fame between a dual podiums.
It competence have lasted a bit longer than expected, with Rusev removing in a healthy volume of offense, yet Cena finally forsaken a produce by hidden behind a Bulgarian lectern and denying a final suit of Rusev planting his flag. A second fame try led to an Attitude Adjustment by a aforementioned tables and a jubilant planting of a American flag.
Coming in during over 20 minutes, this compare — a reversion to a reduction reality-based character of wrestling, and one that leaned too heavily on nationalism — was a clunky lapse to pay-per-view for Cena
United States championship: Kevin Owens def. AJ Styles (c) around pinfall (17:50)
Sometimes a screwy finish is accurately what we need to keep a adversary relocating forward, and in a box of this match, that saw Owens lift off a propitious pinfall feat following some shenanigans with a knocked out referee, it looks like we’ve got during slightest a few some-more weeks of this budding rivalry.
This compare was wholly about revelation an in-ring story, even to a slight wreckage of some of a physicality we competence design from an Owens-Styles match. Owens returned, time and again, to a grounded headlock, and both group showed their strengths in counter-wrestling, that valid generally vicious in a shutting moments of a match.
After shifting in and out of a ring several times to build adult a tension, Owens strike a behind elbow, usually for Styles to respond with a pointy dropkick. When Owens went out of a ring for a third time, Styles followed, promulgation Owens into a barricade. When Styles missed with a follow-up splash, Owens picked adult a spread-legged Styles and threw him groin-first into a ring post.
Owens staid behind into a headlock and fought off countless attempts during Styles’ escape. On one occasion, Styles fought to his feet by removing his knees adult on an Owens senton attempt. Once he attempted for his flurry of attacks, however, his spinning back-fist missed, and Owens strike a snap DDT, that led right behind into a headlock.
Styles threw all he had during Owens. The lightning-quick strikes. A low using forearm. Planting Owens face-first into a mat, and afterwards an Ushigoroshi. A springboard 450 was finally a tide-turner, as Owens got a knees adult on Styles and resulted in a tighten two-count. A turnbuckle method led to a woe shelve into a spinning powerbomb by Styles, yet a discerning lapse to a high-rent district got Styles crotched on a tip turnbuckle.
The compare reached a consummate as Styles’ try during a unusual forearm was thwarted as Owens sent him shoulder-first into a ring apron. Owens strike an armbreaker, Styles strike a Pele flog and as Styles looked for a Styles Clash, his shoulder couldn’t hoop a lift, and Owens threw Styles full speed into a referee.
Styles checked on a central and gave Owens an opening. Owens strike a superkick and set adult a pop-up powerbomb, yet Styles rolled it by into a calf crusher in a core of a ring. Owens rolled by into a crossface, and as a arbitrate recovered, Styles rolled it by into his possess crossface. As a arbitrate finally got lucid, Owens rolled Styles onto his behind while Styles still had a crossface sealed in, bridged usually in time, and got a disreputable three-count to spin a three-time United States champion.
This wasn’t their best common effort, yet something tells me they’re saving a small bit for a biggest payoff.
Fatal 5-Way rejecting compare to spin No. 1 contender to a SmackDown women’s championship: Natalya def. Charlotte Flair around pinfall to win (Natalya def. Becky Lynch around pinfall; Lynch def. Lana around submission; Lynch def. Tamina around submission) (11:00)
Every time we let it trip a minds that SmackDown is a land of opportunity, a startling outcome in a large compare comes along and creates that indicate transparent clear.
At Battleground, it was all about Natalya removing her shot during SummerSlam.
The early stages of this compare featured a form of car-crash disharmony many any multiway compare has, including a startling volume of offense by Lana.
Tamina and Lana teamed adult on Charlotte Flair, and afterwards continued to group adult around a match. This pairing has been entrance together for a few weeks, and after a lengths to that Tamina went to assistance Lana around a contest, it seems as yet there’s something there in a prolonged term.
After Becky Lynch finally rolled behind into a ring and evened things adult by promulgation Tamina and Lana out of a ring, we got a reprise of a good compare from Tuesday’s book of SmackDown Live as Flair and Lynch came to blows. As shortly as Flair strike Lynch with a neckbreaker, Natalya ran in, stepped on Flair’s behind and followed it with a low dropkick to Lynch’s face.
Everybody got a Bex-ploder until Tamina finished a run with a superkick to Lynch, and after a Samoan dump on Natalya, Flair ran Tamina out and went for a figure 8 usually to get rolled adult by Natalya for a two-count.
Natalya sealed a sharpshooter on Flair in a core of a ring, yet with eyes on a some-more approach punish on Flair, Lana strike an X-factor on Natalya to try to get a 3 count on Flair for herself. That didn’t work.
Lynch sealed on a dis-arm-her on Lana, yet Tamina superkicked Lynch to save Lana again, going so distant as to stalk Flair out of a ring. Lana got a two-count on Lynch, usually to tumble behind into another dis-arm-her that Tamina pennyless adult a second time. Lynch motionless to spin her attentions, locking a dis-arm-her on Tamina instead, and this time, Tamina tapped, apropos a initial chairman separated in a match.
Lynch sealed on a dis-arm-her for a third time on Lana and quick knocked her out of a match, too.
The jubilee was short, however, as Natalya got a roll-up with a large handful of tights to pin Lynch in a blink of an eye. It was down to Flair and Natalya, dual women with a satisfactory bit of history.
There was a dispute of wills and acquiescence attempts in a core of a ring, with Natalya locking on a cross-armbreaker usually for Flair to dead-lift Natalya adult and dump her with a sit-out powerbomb, removing a two-count in a process. Flair went adult to a tip wire for a moonsault to finish things off, yet Natalya got her knees up.
A roll-through sent Flair’s conduct into a bottom turnbuckle, and Natalya got a honestly intolerable feat in a evident aftermath.
This is a biggest one-on-one event that Nattie has gotten in a prolonged time, and with usually one pretension to her credit notwithstanding her extensive reign with a company, it’s time for her to get another shot in a spotlight.
Shinsuke Nakamura def. Baron Corbin around suspension (12:30)
Sunday night’s compare with Shinsuke Nakamura was a large exam for Baron Corbin as a approaching destiny champion, and while a span showed a plain thought for how things could play out and flashes of chemistry, a finish outcome was a clunky compare with an unfulfilling ending.
Nakamura took a commencement with an early forearm, and as he’s good to do, Nakamura played mind games by a early stages of this compare before Corbin impressed him with physicality. They fell into a informed pattern, as Corbin sealed in a bear hug, Nakamura fought out with elbows and all else built off of these moments. They unequivocally sole a courtesy to a reduce back, as Corbin ran Nakamura into a block several times on a outside.
Back to a bear hug, Nakamura fought out with elbows, Corbin ran him into a dilemma and sealed a bear cuddle in again.
Nakamura finally got his comeback, with his multiple of Good Vibrations and kicks and knees drifting from any instruction imaginable. Corbin regained control with one of his law maneuvers, a slip out and slip in into a lariat, and in a match’s rise impulse (just circumference out a plain Deep Six), Corbin incited Nakamura inside-out and deposited him on his head.
It eventually incited behind in Nakamura’s instruction with some-more knees, a spinning flog and a flog to a behind of a head, yet usually as Nakamura looked to set adult his Kinshasa knee for a second time, Corbin dead-weighted him prolonged adequate to set adult a windup flog true into a low blow.
An present DQ, a briefcase shot to a face and End of Days. This looks approaching to lift on over Battleground, and hopefully it’s improved subsequent time around.
New Day def. The Usos (c) to win SmackDown tab group championship around pinfall (13:45)
The duration in between Money in a Bank and Battleground wasn’t a utterly moving time in a adversary between New Day and The Usos, save for some monster one-liners in their swat battle, yet a boon to their dispute Sunday night some-more than done adult for any downtimes we had to go through.
Xavier Woods took a violence for dual extensive stretches of a match, as both Jimmy and Jey Uso laid in positively all they had. After 6 or 7 minutes, when Kofi Kingston finally got his possibility to tab in and come in like a residence on fire, it seemed this compare competence take a trail of so many New Day matches over a past few years — tough in a commencement and a steamroll by to a end.
But that wasn’t to be.
Kingston’s new “Trust Fall” blind burst to a outward got him picked out of midair by both Usos, and they incited it into a powerbomb on a outside, digest Kingston out of elect for a subsequent few vicious moments. Woods got taken down on a outward for his troubles, as well, and once he was thrown behind into a ring, it seemed maybe The Usos would run divided with it.
However, Woods usually kept pulling things out of his hat.
It started with a lucha-libre desirous (and innovative) pierce in that he was picked adult in a dumpcart yet flipped it inside out into a face-planting slam. With Kingston still resigned on a outside, Woods ate a tab group super Samoan drop, kicking out during two, yet swung extravagantly to even a numbers for a time. As he went for his law top-rope walkout drifting elbow, he got held true in a jaw by a low superkick on his approach down and kicked out usually in time.
Woods afterwards was placed in a singular leg crab yet solemnly fought his approach to a ropes. Out of nowhere, a finally recovered Kingston tagged in, they strike Midnight Hour on Jimmy Uso, yet he kicked out before a 3 count. As Woods got tossed out of a picture, Kofi got strike with a superkick and a tip wire splash, The Usos finishing sequence, yet he, too, kicked out.
As The Usos positioned themselves for a double dash to finish things, Woods pushed Jey Uso off a tip wire and Jimmy missed Kingston. Kingston afterwards strike Trouble in Paradise, followed by Woods’ step-out bend with him drifting all a approach opposite a ring, and The New Day finally finished a job.
The time was right for new tab group champions, and this compare was a showcase of usually how good these dual teams can be as a anchor to SmackDown’s division. The New Day are a initial to wear both a Raw and SmackDown gold, and we’ll approaching see them run this compare behind during slightest once on a approach to SummerSlam.
Still to come:
Jinder Mahal (c) vs. Randy Ordon for a WWE championship (Punjabi Prison match)