Angelic Heel Once Again!!
The last Raw before WWE’s Battleground (which can be seen on the WWE Network) was one that people will be talking about for a long time to come. The landscape of the Diva’s division have altered in such a dramatic fashion that it will never be the same again. Bray Wyatt also caught a taste of what it meant to play with the seething volcano that is Roman Reigns. Yet another member of the Authority fell to the Beast and now our beloved WWE World Heavyweight Champion must reassess the war in Suplex City. If you missed Raw (what is wrong with you?!) find out what happened now!!
The Champion Confronts The Challenger
The evening began with Brock Lesnar and his advocate Paul Heyman. Paul began by stating that the WWE universe, at Battleground, would be seeing something that is rare. Brock Lesnar entering as a challenger. He then went on to list the moments when Brock entered as a challenger and then the positive out comes of each of those moments. Heyman promised everyone, that Sunday would be no different than Lesnar’s rookie year in WWE, when he went to UFC, when he faced the Undertaker, and when he dethroned John Cena to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Paul Heyman promised that the destruction that his client had wrought on the Cadillac last week would pale in comparison to the destruction in store for Seth Rollins.
Not one to let others speak ill of him, our fighting champion emerged from the back and vowed that he would bring, matches and gasoline and burn Suplex City to the ground on Sunday! The situation continued to escalate with Lesnar himself offering to take Rollins to Suplex City that night. Kane intervened and stated that things would continue to be conducted in a professional manor and that there would be a contract signing later that night.
Ryback & Randy Orton vs Sheamus & The Big Show
Winner: Ryback & Randy Orton
First match of the night saw the Big Guy and the Viper in tag team action against the world’s Largest Athlete and the Celtic Warrior. Once again, the WWE’s Biggest Mouth was sitting in on commentary watching his two Battleground opponents with interest. The match itself was a hard hitting physical affair. Sheamus took the brunt of the punishment at first as he took punishment from punishment of both Ryback and Randy Orton. But he was able to tag in his partner and the Big Show quickly used his size advantage to take control. The Miz however, made his presence felt and ended up costing Sheamus and The Big Show the victory. How yo ask? Miz was his charming self and Show decided he needed to destroy the Hollywood A Lister. He chased the Miz into the back, abandoning his partner. Ryback turned into Fly-Back once more with a Frog Splash to get the pin on Mr. Money in the Bank.
This match was an exciting way to begin the in ring action. Miz was as always hilarious on commentary. As stated, it was an extremely physical battle that did not drag on. It had exciting moments through out. And Ryback has come leaps and bounds. Funny since he is now becoming something of the aerialist as of late. Big Show was even entertaining in this match and we all know THAT’S saying something. The bad blood between Sheamus and Randy Orton is thick and is going to come to a head at Battleground when they finally lock horns in an attempt to destroy one another. This match gave the WWE Universe a taste of what is to come between the Viper and the Celtic Warrior. Same can be said for the IC title picture. All three men bring a certain advantage to the match that the others don’t, Big Show, his size and veteran status. Ryback with his ability to turn negatives into positives, his strength. The Miz with his ability to capitalize on an opportunity and his speed. At this point it is anyone’s game. But I have a feeling the Hollywood A Lister will be leaving St. Louis with gold.
Dean Ambrose vs Bray Wyatt
Winner: No Contest
The WWE Universe thought that it was going to see a match between Bray Wyatt and Dean Ambrose. A match that was sure to be as unpredictable as both men. What the WWE Universe got was a SURPRISE!! It’s ROMAN! And he was NOT a happy camper. The Big Dog attacked the Eater of Worlds and beat him up on side of the ring and down the other. Wyatt was only able to escape by hitting Reigns with the lantern. But it only stunner the Samoan Superman long enough for Bray to retreat back to the shadows. What was Ambrose during all this? Sitting back and watching Roman destroy the new face of fear.
Anyone else think this might have been planned out between Dean and Roman? With all the smoke and mirrors Wyatt has been employing, what better way to ensure it was him and not an impostor? Crazier things have happened.
NXT Women TakeOver
In what appeared to be yet another dull Bella diatribe, the WWE Universe got the treat of the night, possibly of the year. As Nikki was spouting off that she and Team Bella were the ones who ran the Diva’s Division, Stephanie McMahon came down and set the Diva’s Champion straight. She spoke about the revolution happening in women’s sports and that she too wanted that kind of change for the Diva’s division. She brought Paige to the ring, as she was fighting to bring about that change. But, Stephanie continued, change could not happen by courage alone but needed back up. Stephanie then brought out Becky Lynch and Charlotte to aid Paige in her crusade for change in the Diva’s Division. Naomi and Tamina joined the party stating that they were all the competition needed. Stephanie was not done giving gifts to the WWE Universe as she then introduced NXT Women’s Champion, Sasha Banks as back up for Naomi and Tamina since she was also a person who knew how to take an opportunity. Before Stephanie took her leave of the ring, she asked who would be the one to seize the opportunity that she has now provided?
Team Bella attempted to leave the ring but were blocked by Tamina, Naomi and Sasha. The Bellas and Foxy then turned around to leave the other way but were then blocked by Charlotte, Paige and Becky. Nikki and her cohorts turned to leave again and went through the first group of ladies with Nikki bumping into Sasha. The Boss, never one to allow such disrespect, threw the Diva’s champion to the ground and the brawl was on. All the women lay into one another each hungry to make a point that change in the Diva’s division was happening now! It ended with Team Bella being destroyed. All three were put into submissions and tapped in unison (Figure 8 on Alicia Fox, Arm Bar on Brie, Bank Statement on Nikki). The Diva’s Revolution has begun. Who else is ready for this roller coaster ride of awesome??
There are not enough words that can describe how awesome this was. Everything I’ve been saying about the NXT Women rings true as three of the very best NXT has to offer have made it to the main roster. The very fact that a “This is Awesome” chant reverberated through Atlanta should be proof enough that these ladies, doing what they do best is best for business. Definitely excited to see what the future holds not that business has picked up in the Diva’s division.
Prime Time Players & Mark Henry vs The New Day
Winner: Prime Time Players & Mark Henry
The New Day looked to pick up momentum heading into Battleground where they will be facing the WWE Tag Team Champions, the Prime Time Players for the titles. In the 6 man tag that saw Mark Henry team with Titus and Darren, unfortunately the power of positivity did not see Xavier, Big E, or Kofi victorious. Sure they held onto control for a good portion of the match, even had a bit of fun mocking O’Neil, but it was all for naught when Titus tagged in Henry and on World’s Strongest Slam later, the New Day was defeated and sent scurrying from the ring.
Won’t lie, it was hard to concentrate on this match after the gold that was witnessed before. As a match standing on its own, it didn’t suck. Compared to the fire and passion that the Diva’s exhibited, it lacked the certain umph that kept me invested. Now here’s one thing I can say. The NEw Day sure has taken a lot of beatings lately. Brock Lesnar at Beast in the East, single handedly destroyed them. I bet they take these negatives and clap themselves into some tag titles on Sunday.
King Barrett vs R-Truth
In an attempt to finally put away the usrper, King Barrett went one on one with R-Truth once more. The match was a bit brief and it looked like our King would put away the eccentric Truth. But things did not go as planned and Barrett received a lie detector and was pinned. As bad as that was, the worst was yet to come and King What’s Up was reborn with the victory.
On Sunday during the Battleground preshow, the WWE Universe will see who, once and for all, gets the right to call himself “King” as Wade and R-Truth go head to head for the crown.
Rusev vs Kevin Owens vs Cesaro
Winner Faces John Cena in the Open Challenge
John Cena is apparently a popular fellow. As he lay out the open challenge, not one but three men answered the call. How would they decide who got to answer the John Cena Open Challenge? Cesaro, Rusev, and Kevin Owens did their damnedest to destroy one another. The winner, would then go on to face John Cena for the title immediately after the triple threat.
There was no one man who dominated the other two for any length of time. All men hit moves the would leave one guy reeling while the recovered third man would then go on the attack and shut down any hope of a true momentum build. Cesaro’s abilities and skills were on full display as he hit another springboard cork screw European uppercut in the match. Hell Cesaro was on fire for the match as he did hold his own and displayed super human feats of strength. He truly is a Swiss Superman. After a devastating German Suplex, that saw Cesaro lift KO and Rusev up over his head, Owens vacated the ring. He left, unwilling to risk further injury before his title match on Sunday. Cesaro and Rusev continued the match despite the third competitor’s absence. Cesaro dominated and nearly won but in the end it was Rusev who would get the title shot.
This match was just insane fun. It was a back and forth battle between three men who were hungry for a title opportunity. Rusev may have got the pin fall but it was the fans who won. All three men displayed their skills and Cesaro in particular shown brightly once again.
Rusev vs John Cena
United States Championship Match
Immediately following the triple threat victory, Rusev was thrown into the Championship match with John Cena. Cena showed hs true colors as he attacked a beaten down Rusev. He continued the punishment and was about to put the Bulgarian away with an Attitude Adjustment. However Rusev’s resiliency shown through as he countered the move directly into the Accolade! It almost seemed as if the WWE universe would be rid of Cena as the United States Champion, but Kevin Owens rushed the ring and attacked Rusev forcing the DQ. He then delivered a pop up powerbomb to Rusev before once again stating that if ANYONE was going to take the championship off of Cena, It would be him.
Short and simple. Served its purpose. Showed Cena as the bully he really is as he gleefully attacked a less than 100% Rusev. Kevin Owens causing the DQ was perfect. He does have the legit claim on the title shot. And why not insist that it is against Cena? Kevin is doing it for us after all. Well and for his family. But he is the champion that the people need, someone who can finally expose Cena for the delusional fake that he is.
Neville vs Stardust
Stardust made his return to action following the tragic loss of his father, Dusty Rhodes. Who did he have his sights on? The man gravity forgot, Neville. The high flier attempted to shake the hand of his cosmic opponent but caught a kick to the gut for his kindness. From then on Stardust worked at keeping Neville grounded. But the new sensation refused to be anchored to the Earth for long as he fought back and was about to hit his signature Red Arrow when he was indeed grounded by Dark Matter. And Stardust’s crusade to take down heroes continues on.
This was an awesome way for Stardust to come back. He is as mentally strong as he is talented inside the ring. His triumphant return to action despite all that he has been through is an inspiration. The match that he and Neville put on was a good one. Stardust was whimsical yet viscous in his attacks and proved to be too much for the man gravity forgot.
Contract Signing for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match at Battleground!
Kane’s great master plan backfired. Sure all seemed to be going well at first. Both the Champion and the challenger in the ring. A piece of paper signed and then yet more posturing as the build up for the Battleground title match continued. However, our beloved champion was caught attempting follow through with the plan of the Director of Operations. One flipped table later and it was an all out brawl between the Corporate Demon, Seth Rollins and Brock Lesnar.
At first glance, the plan looked to be working as Brock reeled and went down to the combined attacks. But it wasn’t long before the tables turned (no pun intended) and Lesnar was on the attack! Rollins retreated, preserving his strength for Sunday, but Kane was not so lucky. Brock attacked and slammed the steel steps down on the Director of Operations’ ankle, breaking it.
After the Beast left the vicinity, a justifiably angry Rollins once again vowed that at Battleground he would be victorious. He then went over to Kane and berated him as the useless out dated has been that he has turned into. The Champion’s frustrations at the botched plan continued as he then attacked the already injured ankle of the Director of Operations before leaving.
So, we in the WWE Universe all know how contract signings go. It’s just the way of it. They NEVER end well. This was no exception. Sure it appeared that Lesnar was going to be taken down, but the Beast would not go down. The injury to Kane has left the Undisputed Future alone in his fight. Most would worry about Seth and his unfavorible predicament. As a member of the Rollination, I however, have faith that Seth will burn Suplex City to the ground. It won’t be easy, it will hurt, but Seth will walk in Champion and leave the same way. He is the Architect after all, he always has a plan.