WWE Battleground Recap: The Undertaker returns; destroys Brock Lesnar

Battleground is here! We have a small card of five matches and, if rumors are to be believed, we will have one more added late. If WWE Creative is smart, they’d put a Divas match here utilizing one of the new Divas so as to ride the wave of goodwill established last Monday when a ton of NXT Divas were promoted.

Let’s see how the event went…

We start with a 300-esque intro reel featuring the major feuds on the card: Cena/Owens, Lesnar/Rollins, Wyatt/Reigns.

And we are LIVE(!!!) from St. Louis, Missouri for WWE Battleground!!!

JBL, Michael Cole, and King are the guys on the mics.

Marcelo Rodriguez and Carlos Cabrera are at the Spanish Announce Desk.

Danielle didn’t get her predictions in, so she’d like to add hers here:

“I think Sheamus wins here. The crowd won’t be behind him because it’s Orton’s turf but he hasn’t had a meaningful win in a while.” 

MATCH #1: Sheamus vs. Randy Orton
Crowd is on Sheamus right away with “YOU LOOK STUPID” chants. Orton hits some elbows off an Irish Whip to start. Sheamus ditches the ring but Orton follows and tosses him into the crowd barricade. Orton gets back into the ring. Sheamus doesn’t want any part of it and leaves again — so Orton goes back outside and clotheslines him. Back in the ring, Orton stomps at Sheamus. Sheamus gets up and it’s BOO/YAY punches with Orton getting the best of it with uppercuts and a kick to Sheamus’s stomach. Orton charges but Sheamus counters into an Irish Curse Backbreaker. Sheamus regroups and hits two more of them. Sheamus hits a knee to Orton’s gut and then goes off the second rope with a knee off the second rope. Two count. Running kneedrop also gets two. Orton gets to his feet. Sheamus charges and Orton sidesteps, sending Sheamus into the ringpost and outside. More punches and uppercuts are exchanged but Orton gets the best of it again. Orton tries a Powerslam in Stride but Sheamus holds the rope. Sheamus goes for the Rolling Senton but Orton kicks out. Fight spills outside and Sheamus ends up on the announce table. Back in the ring, it’s a Powerslam by Orton and two. Orton goes for the Vintage Orton Rope DDT. Sheamus blocks it and hits the Rolling Senton along with the Tilt-a-Whirl Slam. Two count. Sheamus sets up for the Brogue. He misses. Orton misses the RKO. Sheamus goes for the Cloverleaf. Orton kicks away from it and Sheamus hits White Noise for a NEAR fall. Crowd begins cheering “RANDY” as he gets to his feet. Orton hits a kick to Sheamus’s head off an Irish Whip, then a Fisherman’s Suplex Throw for a near fall. Orton climbs on Sheamus in the corner and hits about five punches before Sheamus drops him on his chin. The two punch at each other in the corner before Orton gets control and hits a beautiful Superplex! Orton gets 2 1/2. Orton goes for the Vintage Orton DDT and hits it. He sets up for the RKO but Sheamus counters with a roll-up. Orton tries again but Sheamus hits the BROGUE! Orton is down. Sheamus crawls over with everything he’s got. Orton holds the bottom rope. Sheamus goes for the Cloverleaf, pulling Orton away. (DANIELLE: You can’t have Orton lose in his own town! What is he, Natalya?!) Orton gets near the bottom rope..but Sheamus pulls him off. On the second attempt, Orton makes it. Sheamus picks him up — but it’s an RKOOUTOFNOWHERE to finish this at 16:53.
WINNER: Randy Orton via RKO
RATING: ***3/4. Helluva match to start this. Both guys gave their all. 

Cole talks about “social media” and how they “blew up” over the Divas as we get clips from RAW.

JoJo invites Steph to the backstage interview platform and OMG SHE’S HUGE. Either JoJo shrunk or Steph’s suddenly a giantess. Steph announces that the Divas will be having a Triple Threat Match tonight.

The New Day is here for their tag championship match. Kofi says they haven’t lost their way since they lost the titles. Xavier says that’s because they’ve remained positive. Big E says they’ve “reaped some rewards”. Xavier says that they needed to lose so that, later, they can WIN. E says they’re gonna beat the Prime Time Players. E says they will become the new tag champs. Xavier says that today…IS A NEW DAY.

“Everyone loves them but The New Day is a joke. They’re one step from being Los Matadores at this point. They lose and PTP retains.”

MATCH #2: The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Big E) (w/ Xavier Woods) (challengers) vs. The Prime Time Players (Darren Young & Titus O’Neil) (champions) for the WWE Tag Team Championship
Young and Kofi start us out. A series of counters and Young hits a clothesline and Swinging Neckbreaker. Northern Lights Suplex by Young gets a one-count. Titus tags in and Kofi slaps him in the head. Titus is pissed and slaps Kofi’s chest HARD three times. Kofi rolls outside, screaming. The New Day wants a time-out. Kofi gets back in after a very short time and tags in Big E. Titus slams him to the mat on a charge and tags Young who Titus drops on top of E. E manages to dump Young outside and The New Day double-teams him. Back in the ring, it’s the New Day Mudhole Stomp. Kofi runs at Young and stomps him in the chest for two. E tags in and hits a Warrior Splash on the edge of the apron. Two count. E puts Young in the Abdominal Stretch. Young breaks out but E knocks him down and goes for the Big Ending. Young dodges and hits an Enzuguri. Both men make hot tags. Titus knocks E from the ring and catches Kofi, hitting a pair of backbreakers. He slings Kofi across the ring and hits a nice running clothesline. He sets Kofi up for another run but Xavier hits an Enzuguri behind the ref’s back. Kofi hits a DDT for two. Titustags in Young who takes out all three members of The New Day. He runs at Kofi but Kofi hits a weak-looking kick. He tags E and E goes for the Big Ending. Young counters it with the Gut Check. Tag to Titus. He hits the Clash of the Titus and PTP retains at 8:51.
RATING: **3/4. A bit on the short side, but nice match. PTP continues to impress me.

Paige is backstage with Becky and Charlotte. She’s psyched that the two of them are on her side. Becky’s ready to re-build the Divas, fella. Charlotte’s gonna do it…WITH FLAIR. Woooooo!

Cole talks up Reigns/Wyatt and we get the sizzle reel for that.

“Bray’s winning this match. Reigns isn’t done being humiliated at the hands of WWE Creative. At this point. Bray’s nearly a JTTS — and that’s sad. Reigns just isn’t over enough to beat him.”

MATCH #3: Bray Wyatt vs. Roman Reigns
The two lock up and Wyatt stomps Reigns in the corner. Reigns comes back, kicks and punching Wyatt in the corner. Reigns punches at him. Wyatt pushes him away. Reigns comes back with more punches. Wyatt gets out of the ring. Reigns follows but Wyatt hits an uppercut. He punches Reigns in the ring but Reigns hits a clothesline. A series of counters and Wyatt hits a flying lariat. Reigns comes back with a Short Arm Clothesline. Wyatt leaves the ring. Reigns chases and flies at Wyatt but Wyatt sidesteps and Reigns hits the steel steps. Back in the ring, Wyatt hits a splash in the corner and sucks up the cheers from the crowd. Reigns tries for a comeback but Wyatt tosses him from the ring. Wyatt follows him and hits a DDT on the edge of the mat. Back in the ring, Wyatt hits a suplex and Reverse Senton for two. Side headlock by Wyatt. Reigns begins to break, but Wyatt just slams him down and reapplies it. Long spot just goes on and on with Reigns finally breaking and hitting clotheslines. Reigns hits a Side Suplex with the crowd not having any of it. He goes for the Drive-By Dropkick outside but Wyatt clotheslines him to counter. Wyatt follows that with the Reverse Senton outside. Wyatt hits uppercuts in the corner and headbutts him. Reigns comes back with a Sitting Powerbomb for two. Reigns sets up for a Superman Punch. Wyatt tries to counter with Sister Abigail. The fight spills outside. Reigns hits a dropkick outside and rolls Wyatt back in the ring. Reigns misses the Superman Punch. Wyatt hits a Chokeslam and it’s a two-count. Series of counters and Wyatt nearly hits Sister Abigail. Reigns breaks and hits the Superman Punch for two. Reigns sets up for a Spear — but Wyatt kicks Wyatt in the head. Reigns tries again but Wyatt clotheslines him HARD, getting a near fall! Wyatt does the Spider Walk and goes for Sister Abigail…but Reigns powers out and headbutts Wyatt. He clotheslines Wyatt in the corner several times and hits the Samoan Drop. Wyatt rolls out of the ring. Reigns follows. Wyatt tosses him into the crowd barrier and back into the ring. Wyatt grabs a pair of chairs with the crowd loving it. Reigns follows and jacks Wyatt’s jaw. Reigns grabs both chairs and tosses them in the ring. He adds a couple more — but a guy in a hoodie attacks Reigns at ringside, hitting a Superkick. Bray hits Sister Abigail and gets the pin at 22:03.
WINNER: Bray Wyatt via Sister Abigail
RATING: **1/2 with the finish. The match went on far too long and I’m bored of this “feud”.

Post-match, the man in the hoodie reveals himself as Luke Harper. Yay.

The St. Louis Cardinals pinch-hitters are at ringside.

Naomi, Sasha Banks and Tamina are with JoJo. They are promising a win.

Cole says they’re suddenly called “B.A.D.” which stands for “Beautiful And Dangerous”. Ugh.

MATCH #4: NXT Champion Sasha Banks (w/ Naomi & Tamina) vs. Charlotte (w/ Paige & Becky Lynch) vs. Brie Bella (w/ WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella & Alicia Fox) in a Triple Threat Match
Brie’s dumped into the Triple Threat Black Hole, leaving Charlotte and Sasha to fight. Sasha knocks her out of the ring. Brie re-joins the fight. Sasha stacks her on the second rope. Charlotte attacks. Sasha puts her in the first rope. She puts a knee in Brie’s gut. Brie falls on Charlotte. Two count. Banks puts Charlotte in the corner and chokes her with a boot, then stomps her. Brie re-enters the ring and gets Superkicked. Sasha mocks the Flair strut. Charlotte rolls her up for two. Series of counters and Sasha rolls up Charlotte for two. Brie re-etners the fight as the crowd chants for Becyk. Brie and Sasha exchange shots. Charlotte double clotheslines them both. Charlotte gets to her feet. It’s a series of counters with Sasha ending up in the corner. Brie hits some clotheslines and dropkicks as well as a Double Bulldog. Two count. Brie pins Charlotte. Two count. Brie kicks both women repeatedly. Charlotte finally catches her leg. Sasha sends Charlotte right into Brie. Brie rolls out of the ring. Sasha rolls Charlotte into a pin for two. Sasha hits a quick neckbreaker for two. Charlotte gets up but Brie gets up and hits a dropkick. Two count. Brie hits the lame “Brie Mode” knee on both women. The second time on Sasha, however, goes awry. Brie is thrown from the ring. Suddenly, Naomi, Tamina, Becky and Paige converge on the Team Bella. Then it’s a Suicide Dive Fest with Banks and Charlotte both hitting one. Charlotte puts Brie in the ring and puts Brie on the top buckle. Brie fights. Charlotte hits a forearm. Banks rushes in and hits the Banks Statement. Brie breaks it but Charlotte gets up and hits the Figure Eight to make Brie tap at 11:57.
WINNER: Charlotte via Figure Eight
RATING: ***. A good start. Hopefully, this is indicative of things to come.

Earlier tonight, King Barrett beat R-Truth via ROAL BULLHAMMA MIGGAL.

We get the sizzle reel for Cena vs. Owens.

“Kevin Owens wins this match. I think there’s been too much build-up here. John Cena’s had the title since WrestleMania and Owens is white-hot.” 

MATCH #5: Kevin Owens (challenger) vs. John Cena (champion) for the WWE United States Championship
Owens puts Cena into a headlock. Cena breaks but Owens clocks him, knocking him to the mat. Owens hits a standing dropkick and Cena goes down again. Owens tosses Cena into the corner and Cena’s down again. Owens hits a Falling Neckbreaker fro two. Cena comes back with a shoulderblock but Owens knocks him down and hits a Senton. Two counte. Cena comes back and hits the Facebreaker for two. Cena goes top rope with a Legdrop and gets two. Cena goes for the AA but Owens hits the DDT on a counter for two. Cena counters with Moves 1 through 3. Owens rolls out of the ring. Cena follows. Owens knocks him down and goes top rope. He tries a Flying Senton but Cena gets his knees up. Cena hits an Irish Whip but Owens mocks Cena with Moves 1 through 4. He goes for the AA but Cena lifts him up for an Electric Chair spot, dropping Owens on his face. STF is met with Owens grabbing the bottom rope. Series of counters and Owens hits a German and a Cannonball for two. The two get to their feet and brawl with Cena hitting a Sunset Flip for two. Cena goes off the top rope but Owens catches him and hits a Powerbomb for two. Cena gets up. Owens follows up but Cena hits an AA for two. Cena puts Owens on the top rope for a Superplex. Owens counters with a Fisherman’s Suplex for two and NEARLY wins it. Owens tries the Pop-Up Powerbomb. Cena counters but Owens hits a Superkick! Cena ends up in the AA! Owens applies the STF…but Cena gets to the bottom rope. Owens rushes Cena in the corner and Cena counters with a Tornado DDT. Two count. Another series of counters and Cena hits a Springboard Stunner! Owens doesn’t fall and hits a clothesline, knocking Cena down. Owens gets up, lifts Cena and hooks Cena’s leg, dropping him on his head. CLOSE FALL. Cena gets up and hits the AA! TWO COUNT! Cena hits a clothesline and then rushes at Owens — who hits the Pop-Up Powerbomb, getting two! Both men get to the corner. Owens ends up on the buckle. The two punch at each other and Cena hits a Super AA, NEARLY GETTING THE PIN!!! WOW. Cena goes to pick Owens up. Owens cradles him and nearly gets a fall. Cena hits the STF. Owens tries to break. Owens gets to the ropes — but Owens reapplies the hold — AND OWENS TAPS OUT. Mark it at 22:03.
RATING: ****1/4. Another great match with these two. At this point, what happens with Owens?

We’re told that Ryback has been injured and the Triple Threat Match is no longer happening. This doesn’t stop Miz from coming to the ring and yapping. He says that he had huge plans before everything was postponed. Miz calls Ryback a “pansy”. He says that the reality is that Ryback is scared of Miz. Big Show isn’t around either. In fact, “Big Show’s been missing since The Attitude Era.” He says Big Show should retire. He says he wants to be crowned the new Intercontinental Championship. He’ll do it like Los Angeles will take the St. Louis Rams. Big Show finally shows up. Miz freaks out and tries to deal with him. Show responds with a KO Punch and leaves the ring. 

Cole plugs SummerSlam at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

We get the sizzle reel for Brock vs. Seth.

“I think Rollins retains with the surprise help from The Authority. Maybe J&J. They’re not really “injured”. It’s either that or The Undertaker comes in…but WWE wouldn’t fuck over the audience like that.”

MATCH #6: Brock Lesnar (challenger) (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. Seth Rollins (champion) for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship)
Seth rushes at Rollins and goes for a German. Rollins fights out and goes outside. Lesnar chases. Rollins gets into the ring and holds onto the top rope. Rollins kicks at him. Lesnar picks Rollins up for an F5. Rollins escapes and goes top rope. he flies at Lesnar who counters with three straight Germans. Brock hits two more and Rollins finally escapes from the ring. Rollins gets up, grabs his title and tries to leave through the crowd. Lesnar chases and tosses Rollins back into the ring area. He tosses Rollins back into the ring and hits German #6. Brock goes for #7 but Rollins lands on his feet and starts clipping Lesnar’s legs. He kicks Lesnar in the head FOUR FUCKING TIMES and Lesnar STILL grabs him for an F5. Rollins escapes and sends Lesnar out of the ring. Rollins dives at Lesnar twice, but runs into a Belly to Belly by Lesnar for Suplex #7. Brock hits suplexes #’s 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12. Rollins fights back, slapping Lesnar in the face. Lesnar just hits #13 and an F5…but the Undertaker’s music hits. Lesnar looks scared to death. Lesnar lunges. Undertaker goes for a Chokeslam. Lesnar counters into an F5. Undertaker counters again into a Chokeslam. Crowd is unsure at this point, then starts chanting for The Undertaker. ‘Taker hits a Tombstone. He goes to leave but Lesnar gets back up. ‘Taker hits another Tombstone. Crowd chants “ONE MORE TIME” but, nope. That’s how we’re ending things. Fuck the fucking hell out of that. Mark it around 8:30, I guess.
WINNER: No contest.
RATING: DUD. I can’t believe I’m rating this match that far into the ground. This was a travesty of booking. Lesnar destroyed Rollins and had the title and THAT is how you end it all? What a joke. Did the referee catch a plane to Acapulco? Where did Rollins vanish to? Nothing about ANY of this makes any sense.

And we’re off the air. Fuck everyone. 

OVERALL: A solid show for the most part. The main event seriously crippled this from being near-perfect. I’d go *** but wouldn’t watch again.

Er, that’s it.

Matt Perri
Matt Perrihttp://mattperri.wordpress.com
Matt Perri is one of those literary Ronin you’ve never heard of until he shows up and tells you he’s a literary Ronin. He’s a native Californian, a film buff, old school gamer geek, and a sports/entertainment fan. A lifelong Giants, 49ers and Sharks fan, he also covers the world of pro-wrestling, writing recaps for WWE Monday Night RAW and Total Divas at Scott’s Blog of Doom. You can follow the guy on Twitter via @PerriTheSmark as well as here at The Workprint and his own blog, Matt's Entertainment.

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