J Says: Battleground 2017 Thoughts Submitted by J. Elam on 07/24/2017 at 08:54 AM
1. SD Tag Team Championship: New Day (Kofi and Xavier) vs The Usos - New Day started out with some speed. Usos were clever enough to stop it before they really got going. Usos isolated Woods and Kofi throughout the match. Woods and Kingston kicked out of everything the Usos threw at them. Jey just about took Woods' head off with the Superkick counter to his Elbow Drop. Woods showed a lot of fighting spirit by not tapping while in the Canadian Maple Leaf. Both teams made good use to tag team moves. Lots of nearfalls, though. Could've done with less of them. Crowd was into the match all the way through. Was surprised to see New Day win. Especially if they're just going to do the same schtick they did last time they were champs. I thought it would've been better to have New Day lose, and plant the seeds for dissension. Big E (in this scenario) would have claimed Woods and Kofi lost the match because he wasn't in it.
2. Shinsuke Nakamura vs Baron Corbin - These 2 are fighting because... reasons? Just a random attack at MITB, then attacking again on SD. Match never seemed to get going. It looked like it should have kicked into a 2nd gear a few times, but it never did. Can't say I'm a fan of Corbin getting himself DQ'd intentionally. Then he smiles for whatever reason. Who smiles after losing a match like that? Then he gives Nakamura the End of Days. I feel like the DQ finish makes Corbin seem somewhat afraid of Nakamura. Like he was afraid he'd lose or something.
3. SD Women's #1 Contenders: Becky Lynch vs Natalya vs Tamina vs Lana vs Charlotte Flair. They had SD Women's Champion Naomi on commentary. Tamina protected Lana throughout the match. Why is she protecting her? They haven't explained that partnership at all. Lana's still terrible in the ring. She completely whiffed on 2 kicks in a row. Not that she needs to connect flush, but it wasn't even good enough to suspend belief that she actually hit Charlotte. One thing I hated about this match was breaking up pinfalls. Why would you do that? It's dumb. There's no valid reason to do something like that. Also didn't like the quick succession of eliminations at one point. Within about 30 seconds, 3 of the women (Tamina, Lana, and Becky Lynch) were eliminated. It seemed rushed. Didn't see Nattie winning, but seeing as she's the only heel good enough in ring wise to face Naomi, there was no one else they could've gone with. Unless they decided to turn Becky or Charlotte.
4. US Championship: Kevin Owens vs AJ Styles - Battle of 2 of Chris Jericho's former tag team partners. Chinlock City. Owens just loves using the Headlock spot. He's too reliant on it. I get it's a good heel move to slow down the face's momentum, but he seems to do it whenever he can, just to do it. They did the ref bump. Weird finish though. Styles had Owens in a Crossface, Owens rolled onto his back, and the ref made the count, seeing as Styles' shoulders were on the mat. Something seemed off there. Didn't look like it was supposed to happen that way.
5. Flag Match: Rusev vs John Cena - I've never liked the concept of Flag Matches in wrestling. And this match did nothing to sway that thinking. Your objective is to grab your respective flag, and plant it on its stand. So really, the match is no DQ. You could just pummel your opponent until they can't get up. Then you grab your flag, and bada-bing, bada-boom, the match is done and over with. Instead we get a bunch of typical Cena, having to do his darndest to make this match look good enough. Plus, this match went 20 minutes. That's a long time for a match like this. Could've shaved off half that time and maybe the match is better, but who knows for sure.
6. Sami Zayn vs Mike Kanellis (with Maria Kanellis) - They had Maria stand in front of Mike again to prevent Sami from attacking him further, but it didn't affect the finish at all. Sami just won clean despite that. They really need to do something with Maria and Mike. Maria can do just fine on her own, or even if she managed someone else. But Mike just has nothing to him. He's just there. It's like he sucks all the air out of the room.
7. WWE Championship: Jinder Mahal (with Singh Brothers) vs Randy Orton - Very slow match. It was boring to watch. Went nearly 30 minutes. It was reminiscent of Orton's House of Horrors match with Bray Wyatt. Difference being that the build for the latter was more entertaining. It's sad when you think about it that the best part of the match was The Great Khali coming to ensure Jinder walked out with the title. I think Khali thinks he's the WWE Champion too. He kept snatching the title away from Jinder and raising it. I'm curious to see where this goes with Khali in tow. It better not lead to yet another Orton/Mahal match. Please no more matches with these 2. I'd even take Cena/Mahal. Pretty much anyone but Orton again.