Date: July 20, 2014
Venue: Tampa Bay Times Forum (Tampa, FL)
Commentators: Michael Cole, JBL, & Jerry Lawler
WWE presents its second-annual Battleground PPV live from Tampa. FL last night. Was it better than last year’s show? Read on for recaps, results, reviews, and other words that begin with r from both the PPV itself and the Kickoff special!
- Adam Rose [w/ Summer Rae, Layla, & The Rosebuds] defeated Fandango via pinfall with the Party Foul (1:21).
- Cameron defeated Naomi via pinfall with a roll-up (3:12).
- 2 out of 3 Falls: The Usos (c) defeated The Wyatt Family 2 Falls to 1 to retain the WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (18:49).
- AJ Lee (c) defeated Paige via pinfall with the Shining Wizard to retain the WWE DIVAS CHAMPIONSHIP (7:13).
- Rusev [w/ Lana] defeated Jack Swagger [w/ Zeb Colter] via countout (9:55).
- Chris Jericho defeated Bray Wyatt via pinfall with the Codebreaker (15:01).
- The Miz won a 19-man battle royal to win the vacant WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP, last eliminating Dolph Ziggler (14:11).
- Fatal Four Way: John Cena (c) defeated Randy Orton, Kane, & Roman Reigns when he pinned Kane to retain the WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (18:15).
We pan the arena as Renee Young welcomes the home audience. Cut to the kickoff area where Young is joined by Booker T, Alex Riley, and Christian. I guess this is Christian’s new gig since his body will turn to dust if it’s struck. Hype for the Cameron/Naomi match to come, then change gears quickly to the main event Fatal Four Way match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Riley says the Fatal Four Way stip favors everyone other than the champ John Cena.
Cut to the announce table where Michael Cole, JBL, & Jerry Lawler talk about the Fatal Four Way match. Cole and Lawler think Cena will retain, JBL is picking Orton. I hope JBL is wrong. Fandango makes his way out for the first match, and we find out this match is happening because his opponent, Adam Rose, took a picture with Summer Rae and Layla earlier in the day. Rose makes his way out second, with the Rosebuds as well as Rae and Layla. It’s also apparently Rose’s birthday.
1. Adam Rose [w/ The Rosebuds, Summer Rae, & Layla] Vs. Fandango
Fandango charges Rose right at the bell, belting him with rights in the corner, then follows up with a belly-to-back suplex for 2. Rae and Layla lead the Rosebuds around the ring, distracting Fandango. Fandango climbs out of the ring and Layla slaps him. Rae then slaps the other cheek. No DQ is called because of course not. Rose sneaks up behind Fandango, throws him, and connects with back to back forearms followed by a spinebuster slam. Rose connects with a corner lariat and finishes off with the Party Foul for the 1…2…3!
Winner [via Pinfall]: Adam Rose (1:21)
- Jon’s Thoughts: So that happened. Anyway.
A video recaps the blood feud between Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose.
The Kickoff panel discuss the Ambrose/Rollins match. Christian says every team has individual ego and sees that Rollins is willing to do anything. They then turn their attention to the Jericho/Wyatt match, leading to a video clip of The Wyatt Family attacking Jericho three weeks ago.
Tom Phillips is standing by backstage with the WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos. Tonight they’re gonna bring their A game, They joke about which one is the better looking one. Alright.
Back to the arena in time for Cameron to make her way out to her own theme…and wearing schoolgirl-inspired ring gear. Video of why the Funkadactyls have split up (some issue 2 weeks ago on RAW). Naomi is out second, still using the Funkadactyls theme.
2. Naomi Vs. Cameron
Naomi goes right after Cameron, who hides in the ropes to force a break. Cameron kicks Naomi and tosses her to the mat via the hair. Naomi bails to the apron and Cameron screams a lot then shoves her out to the floor. Cameron rams Naomi’s back into the apron then rolls her back in and covers for 1. Cameron sticks her foot in Naomi’s back and pulls back on the arms to wear her former best friend down. Cameron lets go of the hold and dodges a dropkick attempt. She goes for a roll-up but Naomi rolls through and unloads with a series of rights. Naomi with a Thesz press/right hand combo straight out the Stone Cold Playbook.
Cameron bails to the floor and tries to bail but Naomi attacks her from behind and tosses her into the barricade. Cameron tries to climb back into the ring but Naomi grabs the ankle. Cameron manages to kick her away but Naomi shrugs it off and rolls back in. Cameron counters a backdrop attempt with a kick and a slap. Naomi grabs Cameron’s hair, but Cameron throws her throat-first into the ropes and rolls her up for the 1…2…3!
Winner [via Pinfall]: Cameron (3:12)
- Jon’s Thoughts: Another match that just sort-of happened. Naomi’s got hops but Cameron dragged her down a bit. I guess this feud is gonna continue.
More predictions from the Kickoff panel as Christian and Riley think Roman Reigns is gonna become the new champion. Booker T think it’s going to be Randy Orton. I hope Booker T is wrong.
A video plays to remind everyone how the Fatal Four Way match came to be plays us out. PPV TIIIIIIIME.
-WWE Signature/Battleground Intro Video-
We go live to the arena as pyro explodes on the entrance stage. The camera pans the Tampa crowd as Michael Cole welcomes the home audience. We waste no time in getting to the entrance of The Usos for the opening match.
1. The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) (c) Vs. The Wyatt Family (Luke Harper & Erick Rowan) in a 2 out of 3 Falls Match for the WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Jey decks Rowan to start, Rowan responds by almost taking Jey’s head off. Rowan clubs Jey in the corner with forearms, then tags in to Harper who chokes Jey with his boot. Jey ducks a clothesline and catches Harper with a front-facing dropkick sending him out to the floor. Jimmy kicks Rowan off the apron and The Wyatt Family try to regroup on the outside. Harper re-enters the ring and brings Jey to the corner for a double chop across the chest. Jey ducks a clothesline and gets slid out to the floor by Harper. Harper pulls Jey back in and connects with a suplex. Rowan tags in and connects with a massive scoop slam for the 1…2…kickout. Cue neckhold.
Jey counters a backdrop attempt with a kick but runs right into a back elbow and Rowan covers for the 1…2…kickout. Harper tags in and drops a knee across Jey’s face for 1…2…kickout. Cue the Gator Roll into a side headlock/chinlock. Jey gets to his feet and creates separation via the belly-to-belly suplex. Jimmy gets the hot tag but runs right into a big boot and Harper covers for the 1…2…3! The Wyatt Family lead 1 Fall to 0.
Harper splashes Jimmy in the corner and covers for the 1…2…kickout. Rowan tags in and drives an elbow to the top of the head followed by a Warrior Splash for the 1…2…kickout. Rowan rips at Jimmy’s face, driving an elbow to the bridge of the nose. Rowan traps Jimmy in the super noogie, Sgt. Slaughter-style. Jimmy escapes with a series of rights and lefts and tries to slam Rowan, but Rowan is too much and he lands on top for the 1…2…kickout. Harper tags in and stomps Jimmy’s sternum, putting all of his weight on him for added abuse.
Harper catches Jimmy with a European uppercut but Jimmy bounces back with rights. Harper hits Jimmy with a right of his own and mauls him on the middle rope until the ref forces a break. Jey manages to get the tag in and rolls Harper up for the 1…2…3! The Usos and The Wyatt Family are tied 1 Fall to 1 Fall.
Rowan tags in and immediately drops Jey with a fallaway slam for the 1…2…kickout. Harper gets the tag and catapults Jey throat-first into the middle rope, covering for the 1…2…kickout. Rowan tags back and throws Jey into the corner. Jey dodges a splash attempt, sending Rowan shoulder-first into the post. Harper tags himself in and tries to hit Jey with a corner boot but Jey dodges and he sends himself flying out to the floor.
Jimmy gets the hot tag who immediately hits Harper with a splash out to the floor. Rowan runs in and Jimmy tosses him out to the floor, then flattens him with a tope as well! Jimmy runs the barricade and takes out Harper, then rolls him back inside. Jimmy heads to the top and catches Harper with a flying crossbody for the 1…2…kickout! Harper escapes a Samoan drop attempt but eats an enziguiri, then hits the Rikishi Splash in the corner. Jimmy goes for another but Harper quickly gets back to his feet and splashes Jimmy in the corner. Jimmy escapes a power bomb attempt and hits a corkscrew moonsault on Harper for the 1…2…kickout!
Harper catches Jimmy with a big boot that sends him out to the floor. Harper takes flight and hits Jimmy with a tope suicida (he actually just sorta pushed Jimmy down as he flew through the ropes but shhh). Harper rolls Jimmy back in and goes for a power bomb attempt but sees Jey attacking Rowan. Harper goes for a tope suicida but Jey kicks him in the head and Jimmy rolls him up for the 1…2…kickout. Harper rebounds with a sitout powerbomb for the 1…2…kickout! Damn. Rowan tags in and climbs to the top but misses a Superfly Splash. Harper climbs to the top and Jimmy crotches him. Jey gets the tag and hits Rowan with the Superfly Splash for the 1…2…KICKOOOOUT. Goddamn. Jey is in total disbelief.
Jey goes back to the top but Harper grabs the leg, allowing Rowan to club him with a forearm and right hand. They trade strikes, and Jimmy makes the tag. Rowan hits a double nogging knocker and Rowan superplexes both of them back in! SNAP. Rowan covers Jimmy for the 1…2…kickout! Maybe it’s Jimmy. Yup it’s him. Harper tags in and Jey catches Rowan with a superkick. Harper throws Jey out and Jimmy tries to roll him up. Harper rolls through and catches him with a big boot. Harper goes for the Discus Clothesline and Jimmy catches him with a superkick. Harper brushes it off and hits the Discus Clothesline anyway for the 1…2…Jey breaks it up. Harper backdrops Jey out to the floor. Jimmy ducks a clothesline, connects with a superkick, and Jey tags in. The Usos superkick Harper, then Rowan. Jimmy is back in and both Usos climb the same top turnbuckle, hitting a double Superfly Splash for the 1…2…3! The Usos win, 2 Falls to 1.
Winners and STILL Tag Team Champions [2 Falls to 1]: The Usos (18:49)
- Jon’s Thoughts: The match was pretty good for the first two falls but once the third fall started things kicked into a much more exciting gear and it turned into one of the best damn tag team matches I’ve seen in quite some time. The nearfalls had me on the edge of my seat and Rowan’s superplex to both Usos was great and out of nowhere. Phenomenal start to the PPV.
VIDEO: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles trailer.
VIDEO: A recap of the Seth Rollins/Dean Ambrose feud. If you watched the Kickoff special you’ve already seen this.
- Jon’s Thoughts: This match is on second? Damn. This is the only one I was legitimately interested in before the show, so I hope everything after this is worth sticking around for.
Cut backstage where Tom Phillips is joined by Seth Rollins. Rollins says tonight is the night he puts the dagger into Dean Ambrose and finishes him off once and for all. Rollins says Ambrose has been like a cockroach and tonight he gets squashed. Rollins says Ambrose knows what he’s capable and tonight he’ll get everything he bargained for (that sounds weird), and when he’s done his eyes will be glued to the Fatal Four Way. Rollins holds up his MITB briefcase and in comes Dean Ambrose to attack. Ambrose tosses Rollins into some roadie cases as officials try to separate him. Triple H walks in and tells the officials he doesn’t want to see him back in here. The officials drag Ambrose away as Triple H asks Rollins if he’s okay.
- Jon’s Thoughts: Well that’s…disappointing to say the least. I guess I should have expected this match to be held until SummerSlam but it doesn’t make it sting any less. It’s been the only really good build going on in the WWE.
Cole, Lawler, and JBL discuss what they (and we) just saw. JBL thinks Triple H did the right thing. The Divas Championship match is up next instead. Paige makes her way out and we cut to a video of Paige beating Lee for the belt three months ago. The champ, AJ Lee, skips her way out second looking orange as hell. Cut to a video of Lee winning the title back last month. Paige and Lee are apparently “frenemies” now. I don’t miss watching weekly TV.
2. AJ Lee (c) Vs. Paige for the WWE DIVAS CHAMPIONSHIP
Paige and Lee shake hands, then lock up. Paige backs Lee into the corner and breaks clean, then sarcastically claps. In come the “CM PUNK!” chants. Expected. Lee backs Paige into the ropes off the tie-up and skips away clean. Paige whips Lee into the ropes, and Lee rolls Paige up for the 1…2…Paige reverses for the 1…2…kickout. Lee charges at Paige, who connects with a superkick for the 1…2…kickout. Paige headbutts Lee then tosses her into the corner. Paige stomps Lee repeatedly then screams at the referee all guttural-like. Paige connects with a scoop slam and covers for the 1…2…kickout.
Paige climbs to the apron and delivers a series of knees to Lee’s chest, then climbs back in and covers for the 1…2…kickout. Paige slaps on a reverse chinlock to wear the champ down. Paige lets go of the hold then digs a knee right to the spine, pulling Lee’s arms back surfboard-like. Dueling chants for the ladies. Lee flips Paige off but Paige responds with a clothesline and covers for the 1…2…kickout. Paige picks Lee up, who hits her with a standing tornado DDT out of nowhere. Lee is first to her feet and Paige gingerly spears at her and they sort-of tumble out. Paige throws Lee into the barricade then tosses her back in and heads to the top. Lee meets her at the second turnbuckle, Paige hits a headbutt and an awkward sunset bomb for the 1…2…kickout. Oof.
Paige can’t believe she kicked out and is getting emotional because she’s a woman and that’s all women do, am I right bros? Lee kicks Paige away and crawls to the corner. She gets her boots up during a splash attempt but Paige catches her crossbody attempt. Paige goes for a slam but Lee counters with the Black Widow. Paige screams in agony but won’t give up. Paige grabs the hair and whips Lee off, which pops the crowd. Paige follows up with the Paige Turner (more of a swinging neckbreaker but shhhh we’ll go with what Cole said) for the 1…2…kickout. Paige is even more frustrated before. Oh man she’s gonna end up f*cking crying, isn’t she? Paige goes for the P.T.O. but Lee counters with a roll-up for the 1…Paige counters for the 1…2…kickout. Lee catches Paige with the Shining Wizard and covers for the 1…2…3!
Winner and STILL Divas Champion [via Pinfall]: AJ Lee (7:13)
- Jon’s Thoughts: A good match but for some reason I had expected more. They have both proved to be really good in the past, but their matches together always seem so clunky. Weird. Glad Lee keps the title though; I dig Paige and all but Lee to me is the queen of the Divas division and is the only one truly deserving of the title.
VIDEO: SummerSlam takes place next month in Los Angeles.
Cole, Lawler, and JBL hype the Fatal Four while showing footage of the 2 on 3 handicap match from RAW this past Monday including Randy Orton hitting Kane with an RKO despite them being partners. We then cut to the boiler room where Orton looks for Kane. Kane pops out and hilariously delivers a line about Orton making a poor decision in coming down to meet him. Orton tries to apologize and extends his hand but Kane doesn’t accept. Orton asks Kane if he would like to apologize, but Kane says he never has to say sorry because he’s the “Devil’s Favorite Demon”. Orton says he can see they’re seeing eye to eye and their enemies are Roman Reigns and John Cena. Kane says neither man will leave as champion and assures Orton the winner of that match is “standing right here”. Kane then walks off as Orton just sorta seethes.
- Jon’s Thoughts: Kane’s acting here was absolutely awful. Jesus.
We check in with the Kickoff Panel. Renee Young introduces them once again in case you were smart and skipped the Kickoff entirely. Alex Riley picks Roman Reigns as the next World Champ, Christian seconds this. Booker T picks Randy Orton because they’re secretly best friends. Young segues into a video from last Monday, featuring a detente between Rusev/Lana and Jack Swagger/Zeb Colter. SO MANY RAW RECAPS.
Speak of the Russian and Bulgarian devils out come Rusev and Lana for the next match. Once they’re in the ring Lana grabs a live mic. A “USA!” chant starts and Lana tells them to shut up. Awesome. Lana says us Americans and our propaganda blame Russia for current events but America should be blamed for their war mongering. Lana says us Americans should be insulted, afraid, and ashamed of ourselves for jamming our Western civilization down everybody’s throats. She’s not wrong. Lana says non-Americans call our president a “wuss” then showcases a Putin pic on the TitanTron before talking about how awesome he is. Lana says Rusev will crush each and every single one of the people in the audience. More “USA!” chants as Lana yells that Rusev will CRUSH Jack Swagger.
Right on cue out comes Swagger and Zeb Colter, now babyfaces. Swagger swings an American flag. Colter tries to get on the mic and make more jokes but Lana slaps her as Rusev attacks Swagger.
- Jon’s Thoughts: Feels awkward as sh*t to cheer Swagger and Colter as actual babyfaces. Gonna take some time for me to adjust. Plus if anything Lana was the one throwing down honest truths; America does force its will upon everyone but in our defense it’s because WE ARE THE BEST NATION IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE BOOYAKABOOYAKA 619. Swagger gets the upper hand and clotheslines Rusev out to the floor. Rusev consults with Lana then climbs in to start the match proper.
3. Jack Swagger [w/ Zeb Colter] Vs. Rusev [w/ Lana]
Swagger trips the legs and goes for the Patriot Lock but Rusev rolls right out to the floor to prevent it. “USA!” chants. Rusev climbs in and catches Swagger with a kick to the midsection. Rusev works Swagger over in the corner, stomping him down. Rusev belts Swagger with a series of rights, but Swagger fights back with rights of his own. Rusev reverses Swagger into the corner, Swagger sidesteps a splash and tries the Patriot Lock again but once again Rusev bails out to the floor to consult with Lana. They yell at each other in foreign languages. Swagger goes after Rusev, slamming his face into the apron and rolling him in. Swagger splashes Rusev in the corner and delivers a series of knees, but Rusev plows into Swagger out of nowhere and follows up with a fallaway slam.
Rusev lays into Swagger, catapulting off the middle rope for a super stomp. Rusev kicks Swagger hard in the spine and rakes the eyes while headbutting the midsection. Rusev traps Swagger in a nervehold. That’s some Haku sh*t right there. Rusev chops Swagger a bunch and reapplies the nervehold. Swagger escapes but Rusev brings him to the corner and kicks the hamstrings, following up with a short-arm kick to the face. Nice. Rusev rakes the eyes of Swagger, lets go due to the ref, then does it again and drives an elbow to the face. Rusev applies a double nervehold in the center of the ring.
Swagger gets to his feet and stomps the foot to break out but is tossed out to the floor. Colter gives Swagger a pep talk as the ref keeps Rusev at bay. Swagger climbs the apron and Rusev belts him with a right. Swagger climbs back up and eats the same right. Colter gives him more pep talking and Swagger hulks up. Swagger climbs up and drops Rusev throat-first on the top rope. Swagger slides in and connects with a clothesline and a big boot following a corner Irish whip. Swagger does some “WE! THE PROPLE!” and hits the Swagger Bomb for the 1…2…kickout! Swagger takes Rusev to the mat with a slam and covers for the 1…2…kickout.
Swagger sweeps the legs, Rusev kicks him away and sends him to the apron. Swagger hits Rusev with a right and starts heading in but Rusev catches him flush with a kick that Swagger was nice enough to wait around for. Rusev stomps the mat to signal the finish. Rusev goes for the pump superkick but Swagger grabs the foot and applies the Patriot Lock! Rusev inches towards the ropes and Swagger pulls him back into the center of the ring! Rusev screams in agony and teases tapping out. Rusev gets to the bottom rope and slides halfway out, forcing Swagger to let go. Rusev falls to the floor and limps around as Swagger rolls out to clip the leg. Swagger reapplies the Patriot Lock on the floor. Rusev uses the steps to get to his foot and rolls through, sending Swagger crashing head-first into the ring post. Rusev gets to his feet and rolls in as the ref counts 10.
Winner [via Countout]: Rusev (9:55)
- Jon’s Thoughts: Take back what I said earlier about Swagger’s ability to be a face because when he made his big comeback after Colter’s pep talk I was all f*cking in on the guy laying Rusev to waste. This is a new world for Swagger and I kinda dig it. I also dug this match as well, nerveholds aside (nerveholds put me to sleep faster than chinlocks do because at least chinlocks look like they’re doing something), and Swagger losing via countout was a cool way to go as it kept Swagger strong for a rematch (that and the extended Patriot Lock spot) while also letting Rusev outsmart his way to victory. What I wouldn’t give to see Rusev pump handle superkick the rest of the WWE roster.
Post-Match: Rusev and Lana pose in the ring in front of a giant Russian flag that comes down from the rafters (WWE’s production crew is full of pro-Russia sympathizers) then Lana tells Rusev to “CRUSSSSHHH!”. Rusev picks up an unconscious Swagger and tosses him in the ring. Rusev limps over, stomps the spine, then applies The Accolade as Colter yells at the officials to do their job. The two refs jump in and do nothing until Lana tells him to stop.
COMMERCIAL: Takis Fuego. It’s that “guys use windshield washer fluid to cool down” one that you’re probably already sick of.
Cut backstage to Stardust who says destiny is in the cosmos, so close yet so far away, in our grasp yet we can’t touch it. He sticks his finger out and Goldust walks in to touch it. Goldust says he knows what Stardust is talking about the cosmic key (E? T?). Goldust warns it’ll melt the features from his face, but Stardust says they need to see it and tonight they’ll watch the stars. Stardust says they’ll hear the names. Goldust does his “GOOOOOLDDDDUST” thing and bites at Stardust, who hisses. Stardust blows star confetti and says “STARRRRRDUST”, holding his hand to reveal a star like he’s a crazy AJ Styles.
- Jon’s Thoughts: Better than the other promos I’ve seen from these two on YouTube. Goldust yelling “OWWW!” when Stardust grabbed him was hilarious. Two brothers having fun being weird, ain’t nothing weird about that. Wait.
Seth Rollins makes his way out to the ring, MITB briefcase in hand. We see Ambrose attacking Rollins backstage earlier and being escorted out of the arena. Justin Roberts introduces Rollins. “YOU SOLD OUT!” chants from the Tampa crowd. Rollins grabs a mic and says since his opponent has been irresponsibly ejected from the building he has come out to accept a forfeit victory. Rollins tells Roberts he wants to be announced as the winner and tells the ref to raise his arm in victory. Roberts and the ref do what they’re told. Rollins celebrates his “win” as his music plays.
Cole, Lawler, and JBL bring up the fact that Rollins could cash in tonight when we cut to the aisle as Dean Ambrose beats Rollins up. The fight ends up in the crowd, but Rollins fights back and tosses him ringside. Ambrose grabs Rollins and tosses him on top of the Spanish announce table (POR QUEEEEEEE). Security makes their way out and pull Ambrose off of Rollins. He’s pulled into the crowd, says he’s cool, then charges right back at Rollins, jumping off the tables and onto his foe. Officials and security once again drag Ambrose off, Rollins getting in shots of his own. Chaos continues to erupt as both men struggle to fight. A big batch of security carry Ambrose out and Rollins attacks from behind. Ambrose is carried off and Triple H raises Rollins’ arm in victory.
- Jon’s Thoughts: I’m disappointed the match isn’t until next month but goddamn did this get me even more hyped for it. A tremendous brawl that felt raw and real, despite it still being “safe”. Loved it. Two dudes just wanting to murder each other. Best goddamn program going in the WWE.
Cole and company vamp about what just happened, Lawler wanting Ambrose/Rollins to fight and JBL wanting to kiss some Authority ass. Segue into hype for Jericho/Wyatt, complete with video package.
- Jon’s Thoughts: Here’s a controversial statement: to me a feud with Chris Jericho in 2014 is a form of “slumming it”. I have absolutely no interest in this match going on so let’s see what goes down.
4. Chris Jericho Vs. Bray Wyatt [w/ The Wyatt Family]
Wyatt has an awful-looking shiner thanks to a Ric Flair punch at a house show. Both men lock up, Jericho backing Wyatt into the corner and breaking clean as Wyatt laughs. Wyatt charges at Jericho, clubbing him with forearms to the back and a right to the cheekbone. Wyatt headbutts Jericho and connects with a right to the midsection. Jericho chops Wyatt who no-sells it then strikes Jericho after he gets slapped. Wyatt chokes Jericho on the middle rope but Jericho fights back with rights and a back elbow off the Irish whip. Jericho chokes Wyatt against the middle rope and follows up with a kneelift.
Jericho chops Wyatt in the corner then whips him into the opposite side. Wyatt storms out of the corner and takes Jericho’s head off with a clothesline. Wyatt says this is his house then hits a back elbow off an Irish whip, covering for the 1…2…kickout. Dueling chants from the Tampa crowd as Jericho blocks a suplex and sweeps the legs. He goes for the Walls of Jericho but Harper and Rowan climb the apron to distract Y2J and leave him prone to a right hand. Wyatt seats Jericho up and connects with a running kick, covering for the 1…kickout. Wyatt with a seated Tazmission hold.
Jericho gets back to his feet and breaks out with rights, then catches Wyatt with a dropkick, bringing him to the apron. Jericho then launches off the middle turnbuckle and dropkicks Wyatt. VINTAGE-UH JERICHO-UH. Jericho plays to the crowd, then climbs tot he top and splashes all three Wyatt Family members. Jericho throws Wyatt back in and Harper grabs Jericho, causing the ref to toss them from ringside. Wyatt is super upset and blasts Jericho off the apron and into the barricade/cameraman. Poor guy (the cameraman).
Wyatt kicks Jericho repeatedly in the ribs then rolls him in, covering for the 1…2…kickout. Jericho slaps himself to get back into it as Wyatt kicks him from behind. Wyatt with a series of rights in the corner then whips him to the opposite side. Jericho dodges the plash and Wyatt goes shoulder-first into the post. Like Rowan, like Wyatt. Jericho gets sent to the apron, then climbs to the top and “connects” with a flying double axhandle. Wyatt dodges a bulldog attempt and hits two back-to-back spinning gutbusters (first one didn’t go well so they tried again, essentially).
Wyatt drops Jericho and goes for the back splash but Jericho gets his knees up. Jericho drops Wyatt with a standing enziguri for the 1…2…kickout. Jericho climbs to the top and Wyatt meets him on the middle turnbuckle. They trade blows and Wyatt goes for a superplex. Jericho pushes Wyatt off, who levels him with a right to the jaw. Wyatt grabs Jericho and delivers a hanging jawbreaker (!!!) for the 1…2…kickout. That was pretty awesome in its ugliness. Wyatt poses for the appreciative crowd, waking them up a bit. Wyatt whips Jericho in the corner, Jericho catches him with a boot and a follow-up running one-handed bulldog. Jericho goes for the Lionsault but eats a pair of knees on the way down.
Wyatt does the Spider Walk for no reason (if there needs to be one) then connects with an STO for the 1…2…kickout. Wyatt with an uppercut in the corner followed by a running splash. Wyatt yells at Jericho to crawl for him. Wyatt picks Jericho up and goes for another splash but Jericho hits him with a splash and rolls Wyatt up into the bottom turnbuckle. Oof. Jericho drags Wyatt in a bit and covers but Wyatt quickly grabs the bottom rope. Alright. Wyatt ends up on the apron and Jericho jumps over to meet him. Wyatt kicks him and connects with a faceslam on the apron, then rolls him in and covers for the 1…2…kickout. Wyatt is shocked, and also sorta smiling.
Wyatt bends back in the corner to stare down his prey and goes for Sister Abigail but Jericho escapes and goes for the Walls of Jericho. Wyatt fights him off and hits a running forearm after missing a clothesline for the 1…2…kickout. Wyatt contemplates what to do next and while doing so Jericho hits the Codebreaker out of nowhere for the 1…2…3! WHAT
Winner [via Pinfall]: Chris Jericho (15:01)
- Jon’s Thoughts: Dull in spots but a lot better than I thought it was going to be. HOWEVER the fact that he went over Wyatt is mind-boggling. Didn’t seem like a feud worth stretching to SummerSlam but I guess they are doing so. I just hope Wyatt ultimately emerges victorious because as much as I love his creepy promos and aura the dude has barely done jack as a wrestler since debuting on the main roster.
We cut to outside the arena where Seth Rollins is making his exit, wheeled luggage and two security dudes in tow, paranoid as hell. They stop and Rollins looks pissed. Rollins says he’s got this and tells the security dudes to leave. Rollins walks towards his car, then stops to peek around for his sworn enemy, a nervous look on his face. Dean Ambrose comes popping out of his trunk with a tire iron. He misses the iron shot and the two starts brawling. Ambrose all offense. Rollins jumps into the car and speeds away, trunk still open, and Ambrose watches.
COMMERCIAL: Trailer for Road to Paloma starring Jason Mamoa. WWE Studios is a partner on the project, hence the placement.
COMMERCIAL: Saturday Night’s Main Event is now available on the WWE Network. As of this writing only the first 13 episodes are up. The commercial does say “The 1980’s” to narrow it down but it only goes up to 87 and there were more episodes after that one. I’ll check after this recap is done and not report back to you about it.
The Intercontinental Title is on a red velvet blanket at ringside for the upcoming battle royal. Everyone gets their own entrance to kill time. Even Zack Ryder! Damien Sandow is dressed like a tourist going to the beach, right down to the sunscreen on the nose. That poor guy. Rob Van Dam isn’t there even though he was advertised so it’s a 19-man battle royal.
Former IC Champion Bad News Barrett makes an appearance before the match begins, arm in a sling. Barrett has some BAD NEWS for whoever wins the IC Championship: initially it’ll be great but the reality is that it’s simply delaying the inevitable much like retiring to Tampa. Barrett then says whoever wins will meet their end courtesy of a Bull Hammer. BA BA BA BA BA BOOOOOOOM.
5. 19-man Battle Royal for the vacant WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Everyone targets The Great Khali first, and he shrugs all of them off. Khali brain chops a bunch of them and tosses Xavier Woods and Zack Ryder out. Titus O’Neil attacks Khali from behind and tries to eliminate him but he’s too heavy. Sheamus hits Khali with the Brogue Kick and everyone finally eliminates Khali. Cesaro tries to eliminate Dolph Ziggler but he hangs on. Bo Dallas tosses Sin Cara to the apron, and Cara kicks him but he’s shoved to the floor when he tries a springboard move. Lots of clusterf*ck action, your usual battle royal nonsense. Ziggler almost gets sent out again, barely stays in. R-Truth gets tossed, as does Curtis Axel. Damien Sandow gets eliminated by Diego, Diego tossed out by Ryback. Sheamus and Ryback take everyone down, leaving themselves as the only two standing. Sheamus slugs it out, escapes a powerbomb attempt and Brogue Kicks Ryback out of the ring. The Miz tries to eliminate Sheamus but Sheamus hangs on.
Ziggler hits Miz with a Zig Zag, and Miz slides under the bottom rope to regroup. O’Neil hits a couple of backbreakers on Sheamus and tosses him like garbage. He gloats, allowing Dallas to knee him from behind and toss him out of the match. Dallas takes a victory lap and runs right into a clothesline from Cesaro. Kofi Kingston almost eliminates Cesaro, but only gets him to the apron. Cesaro tries to backdrop Kingston out, but he hangs onto Cesaro’s legs. Kingston uses Cesaro to get back in then uses his hair to keep himself in. Ziggler ducks an Alberto Del Rio clothesline but eats a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Ziggler dropkicks Del Rio out of nowhere, Del Rio responds with an over the rope armbar. Del Rio goes for a superkick but Ziggler dodges and Ziggler eliminates him (he went under the middle rope though). Miz tries to toss Ziggler out, Ziggler hangs on. Big E lasts into Miz, knocking him through the ropes and onto the floor.
Big E picks Cesaro up with a press but Cesaro escapes and tosses him out with a belly-to-belly suplex. Kingston goes after Cesaro, and gets sent to apron. Cesaro goes for the attack and Kingston lands on Big E’s shoulders. Cesaro grabs Kingston off of Big E’s shoulders with a suplex and brings him back in. Cesaro kicks a charging Kingston and climbs back in. Kingston punches Cesaro, and Kingston tries to take him out with his legs. Cesaro thumbs the eye, and suplexes him out to the floor to finally eliminate him. Heath Slater then eliminates Cesaro as he gloats! SLAAAAATER! Slater is pumped and Sheamus attacks, Brogue Kicking him off the apron and out of the match. Dallas tries to eliminate Sheamus but Sheamus hangs on. Sheamus gives Dallas the 10 Forearms of Doom (10 Beats of the whatever whatever), then moves so Ziggler dropkicks him out. That leaves Sheamus and Ziggler (and Miz who’s still out on the floor not eliminated).
Sheamus and Ziggler trade fists, then Sheamus hits a midsection shoulder in the corner and a kneelift. Ziggler escapes, ducks a polish hammer, kicks the knee, and rides Sheamus down to deliver right hands. Sheamus picks Ziggler up in a powerbomb position, and Ziggler tries to hit a sunset bomb but he just sorta lands on Ziggler’s face. Ouch. Sheamus clubs Ziggler, Ziggler slides under the Brogue Kick, Sheamus catapults Ziggler out, but Ziggler hangs onto the top rope. Sheamus grabs Ziggler by the hair and delivers a series of rights to knock him off. Sheamus charges, Ziggler slides under and clotheslines Sheamus out but only foot touches. Ziggler goes for a kick and Sheamus picks him up for White Noise. Ziggler escapes back into the ring and superkicks Sheamus. The crowd goes nuts because of Ziggler’s “win” but in comes Miz who throws Ziggler out to win the IC Championship! SNAP.
Winner and NEW Intercontinental Champion: The Miz (14:11)
- Jon’s Thoughts: An entertaining battle royal, especially down the stretch with Kofi’s elimination escapes and Heath Slater eliminating Cesaro to pop the crowd huuuuuuge. Miz getting the win caused me to sorta shrug but maybe he’ll be feuding with Ziggler because of this so the IC Champion has something to do other than lose to everyone all of the time.
Cut to ringside where Cole and company shill the WWE Network. JBL makes it a point to say subscribers get live access to every PPV “this year”, which sounds to me like a subtle hit some sh*t is gonna change come 2015. Fun while it lasted, folks! Segue into the same SummerSlam commercial from earlier. We then get reminded that Flo Rida will be on RAW on Monday. Did I ever tell you how happy I am now that I don’t watch RAW every week?
VIDEO: The build to the Fatal Four Way main event.
Main Event: John Cena (c) Vs. Kane Vs. Roman Reigns Vs. Randy Orton in a Fatal Four Way Match for the WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Cena and Orton take the fight to the outside immediately, the latter throwing the former into the ring steps. Back inside Reigns peppers Kane with rights in the corner mount until Orton pulls him off. Reigns punches him into the opposite corner then delivers the right hands of doom in the corner mount. Kane decks Reigns with a right and he and Orton double team the former Shield member. Kane whips Reigns into the corner and clotheslines him, then Orton does the same. Cena climbs the apron and gets launched off via Kane. Reigns catches a charging Kane with a big boot then hits him and Orton with a flying second-rope clothesline. Reigns goes for a suplex on Kane but Orton connects with some strike and he and Kane deliver a double suplex on Reigns. Orton covers as Kane keeps an eye on Cena for the 1…2…kickout. Interesting.
Cena runs back in and suplexes Orton for the 1…2…Kane breaks it up. Kane clubs Cena from behind, and he and Orton begin the double-team. Kane rolls to the outside and sends Reigns into the steel post. Inside the ring Cena hits a running one-handed bulldog on Orton then hits a sidewalk slam from Kane, who watches as Orton covers for the 1…2…kickout. Dueling Cena chant time. Kane headbutts Reigns off the apron and goes after him as Orton works Cena over inside. Cena gets Orton in the AA but Kane rolls in and stops it from happening. A “ROMAN REIGNS!” chant starts. Kane hits a back elbow on Cena and Orton covers for the 1…2…kickout. Orton stomps the midsection of Cena and Kane stops Reigns from getting into the ring. Reigns sends Kane into the post as Cena hits the two shoulderblocks and side slam. Cena signals for the Five Knuckle Shuffle and connects. Cena goes for the AA, but Orton grabs the rope so Cena dumps him out to the floor. Reigns rolls in and stares down Cena.
Before they collide Orton and Kane attack them from behind. Kane DDTs Reigns in the ring and covers for the 1…2…kickout. Orton rolls in and yells at Kane for doing that. Orton shoves Kane, saying he’s supposed to watch his back. Kane decks Orton with a right then unloads on him in a corner, crotching him on the top turnbuckle. Kane climbs to the middle turnbuckle and goes for a superplex but in come Cena and Reigns who turn it into a Tower of Doom. Kane sits up and Cena & Reigns go on the double-team. Orton grabs Reigns from behind and hits his over the back backbreaker. Orton kicks Cena in the gut and sets up the hanging DDT. Reigns climbs up and Orton grabs him. Hanging DDTs for both! Cena falls to the floor and Orton covers Reigns for the 1…Kane breaks it up! Kane whips Orton into the ropes and delivers a big boot for the 1…2…Reigns breaks it up. Kane is breathing super loud as he eats a Samoan drop by Reigns for the 1…2…Orton breaks it up.
Orton with a series of rights, Reigns responds with rights of his own. Orton reverses an Irish whip, takes Reigns down, and rolls through with a half-crab! Nice! Reigns powers out by rolling through, then sweeps the legs and applies a half-crab of his own. Cena rolls in and “locks in” the STF on the other side (didn’t even look painful). Kane breaks it up, Kane and Reigns fall to the floor, and Cena traps Orton once again the STF. Orton gets close to the ropes so Cena drags him back into the center of the ring and reapplies the STF. Orton crawls back to the bottom rope, “BORING” chant audible, and goes to grab the rope but Reigns grabs the hand. Cena releases the hold and Reigns whips him over the announce table. Reigns climbs back in and he and Cena stare one another down once more.
Cena and Reigns some BOO/YAY rights then Reigns sort-of hits a running clothesline followed by a corner clothesline. Cena ducks a short-arm clothesline and takes Reigns down with a drop toehold. Reigns powers out of an STF attempt and connects with the Samoan drop. Reigns signals for the Superman Punch, but Cena dodges it and hits a slam. Cena goes for the Five Knuckle Shuffle but Reigns hops up and decks him with the Superman Punch! Reigns sets up for the finish in the corner as the crowd gets pumped. Reigns catches Cena with the Spear and covers for the 1…2…Kane breaks it up.
Reigns takes out Kane with a corner clothesline and a right hand under the jaw. Kane hits one of his own but Reigns responds with a mini-Superman Punch. Reigns runs around the ring and hits the apron dropkick on Cena, a variation of it on the announce table to Orton, and another apron dropkick to Kane. Reigns then turns back to Orton and spears him through the timekeeper’s barricade. Nice star sequence from Reigns. The WWE gets their “THIS IS AWESOME!” chant for a main event that really isn’t. Back in the ring Kane goozles Reigns but Reigns breaks the grip. Kane hits Reigns with a right and Reigns responds with a spear for the 1…2…Cena breaks it up. Cena then covers Kane for the 1…2…Reigns breaks it up.
Cena tosses Reigns out to the floor then hits the AA on Kane for the 1…2…Reigns breaks it up again. Reigns then covers Kane for the 1…2…Cena breaks it up. Cena hits Reigns with the AA out of nowhere for the 1…2…Kane breaks it up. Kane chokeslams Reigns and covers for the 1…2…kickout. Kane’s super audible breathing is distracting as he does the throat slit signal for the finish. Reigns escapes the Tombstone, ducks a clothesline, and spears Kane for the 1…2…Orton breaks it up and hits Reigns with an RKO. Cena rolls in and hits an AA on Orton, dropping him on top of Kane, then covers Kane for the 1…2…3!
Winner and STILL World Heavyweight Champion [via Pinfall]: John Cena (18:15)
- Jon’s Thoughts: By the numbers main event and given all the accidental hype for Cena/Lesnar the finish wasn’t all that surprising. Cena winning the exact same way he won last month’s main event, minus the climbing of a ladder, was a bit too deja vu though. The lazy kind of deja vu. Also it should be noted that Reigns got the highlight spot of the night, once again giving him the “future superstar” rub.
Post-Match: Cena celebrates with the belts as a visibly upset Reigns looks on. Cole signs off and hypes a WWE Network-exclusive Cena interview after the end of the show but I’m not sticking around for that.
Overall Show Thoughts
WWE Battleground got off to a great start with a hot tag team match between The Usos and The Wyatt Family, setting a tone that…not much else could match. Outside of some fun Ambrose/Rollins brawls (in lieu of an actual match sadly) not much else stood out as being better than good or average. It was simply a placeholder event en route to the real PPV next month. As a WWE Network subscriber it doesn’t bother me, since 9.99 a month is a good price point but that’s also the problem as that kinda leads me to cut them a little more slack than if I had paid 60 bucks for it. The Network has cultivated a “eh good enough for what I’m paying” feeling in me and that’s probably a bad thing but hey if you’ve got the service it’s a show worth checking out. If you’re still doing the PPV thing…just wait until August when the matches actually matter again.
- Match of the Night: The Usos Vs. The Wyatt Family
- DUD of the Night: The entire Kickoff Special
- Favorite Moments: The Ambrose/Rollins brawls, Stardust and Goldust hitting their entertaining weirdo sweet spot.
- UGH Moments: Commercials, constant RAW recaps (which were useful I guess since I don’t watch the show but regardless they were overbearing), Cena winning his match the same damn way he won last month.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments below or get at me on Twitter!
Jon is currently working on a series of eBook collections chronicling various wrestling events from the past, present, and future (yes he owns a time machine, no big). Make sure to follow him on Twitter to keep up to date with whatever he’s working on/thinking about. He will also write for money, so feel free to hire him.