WWE Battleground live recap

(Courtesy of WWE.com)
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The first pay-per-view in the post-WWE Draft world doesn’t exactly feel like there are two different brands. A lot of the matches on tonight’s card feature Superstars facing off from opposing shows, including the main event between Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose for the WWE Championship.

That being said, tonight could be the ending point for the most recent era of WWE, ushering in the new brand split era that the WWE should start with tomorrow night on Raw. A full card gets started with The Usos vs. Breezango on the pre-show.

For the main card, it’s filled with some interesting matchups with post-draft implications. Two championships are on the line, with the titleholder and challenger being on different shows. Rusev defends his United States Championship against Zack Ryder, and The Miz defends the Intercontinental Championship against Darren Young.

Battleground is also the battlefield for a number of grudge matches, with the marquee match-up being Sami Zayn taking on Kevin Owens. Down the card, John Cena will team with Enzo and Big Cass to try to defeat the Club, who might be teaming for the last time with A.J. Styles being on SmackDown and The Club heading to Raw.

After their duel at the Wyatt Compound, The New Day and the Wyatts will take their battle to the squared circle, with no titles on the line, just pride and honor.

In the women’s division, Becky Lynch will finally try to get some revenge on Natalya, after the latter turned on the former at the last WWE PPV, Money in the Bank. Charlotte and Dana Brooke will try to rid themselves of Sasha Banks, who’s partner for this tag team match is a mystery to everyone (apparently even Dave Meltzer).

Follow all the action right here on Today’s Powerbomb, starting at 8 p.m. EST. The WWE Battleground pre-show kicks off at 7 p.m. EST on the WWE Network.

Pre-Show Match- The Usos vs. Breezango

The last pay-per-view before the brand extension takes shape is underway, and it’s first match is a tag team battle between The Uso’s and Breezango. Jimmy Uso and Fandango started things off, and the crowd was really into Breezango, not so much for the Uso’s (potentially an indicator for Roman Reigns later tonight).

Breezango had the early momentum, showing off their success as a rather new tag team, but Jey Uso was able to create some space and make a tag to Jimmy, and the Usos got some control. It was short-lived however, with Breeze and Fandango being able to counter.

An electric chair drop by the Usos was countered, but Jimmy was able to hit a huge double cross body, but only for a two count. The match became a huge high-flying contest, and while the bodies were flying, Breeze was able to get his knees up during a splash attempt by Jimmy, and Breeze rolled him up for the three count.

Results: Breezango def. The Usos via pinfall

Charlotte and Dana Brooke vs. Sasha Banks & Bayley

Well, the wait wasn’t too long. We find out that Sasha Banks found herself a tag team partner, in the former NXT Women’s Champion, Bayley. And in typical heel ways, Charlotte and Dana went on the attack, jumping Bayley and Sasha before the bell could ring. The ref finally started the match, with Charlotte and Bayley starting it off.

Quickly, Bayley was able to get some space and make a tag to Sasha. The Boss came in and you could just tell how fired up all four of these women were for this match. And the crowd felt that too, as they were super into it. Charlotte was able to slow the pace of the match down, and cut off Sasha from her own corner.

Sasha was able to make the tag to Bayley, and she came in hyped up, taking out everyone in her path. A distraction by Charlotte allowed Dana to catch Bayley off guard and pull her off the top rope, hitting her neck on the top turnbuckle on the way down.

After some back and forth, Bayley made a hot tag to Sasha, while Dana tagged in the WWE Women’s Champion. The match broke out into a brawl, with all four ladies getting involved. Dana saved Charlotte from the Bank Statement on the first attempt. Bayley took out Dana on the outside, and then Charlotte knocked down Bayley and rolled into the ring, where Sasha hit the backstabber into the Bank Statement. Charlotte had no choice but to tap.

Results: Sasha Banks and Bayley def. Charlotte and Dana Brooke via submission

The New Day vs. The Wyatt Family

First thing that I noticed (that I’ll have to go back and rewatch), is that the graphic below the New Day called them the WWE Tag Team Champions, instead of the WWE World Tag Team Champions. Interesting little easter egg, with the brand split starting tomorrow. With this being the last time the Wyatt’s are together, this could be a big time match.

Xavier Woods and Bray Wyatt appeared to be starting it off, but Kofi tagged in before the battle started, and Xavier looked very lost and confused, a look we’ve seen from him over the last couple of weeks.

The Wyatt’s had the early control, tagging in and out, keeping Kofi away from Big E and Xavier. In this match, the story between Bray and Xavier was really played up. Kofi finally was able to mount some sort of offense, and then dumped Bray to the outside. Braun dropped down to get Bray back into the ring, to try to stop the tag, but Kofi was able to make it to the rope and tag in Big E, while Bray tagged in Eric Rowan.

It became a back and forth, before Woods saved Kofi from Sister Abigail and then went one-on-one with Bray, before he appeared to be hypnotized again by the leader of the Wyatt’s. Kofi made the save for Xavier and then Woods went crazy and started taking out everybody, including Strowman.

Big E came flying through the middle of the ropes and speared Braun, but Woods turned around to see Bray in his spider crawl, he hit Sister Abigail and pinned Woods for the victory.

Results: The Wyatt’s def. The New Day via pinfall

United States Championship Match- Rusev(c) vs. Zack Ryder

Our first title match of the night, and this one starts of a little weird, with Lana dressed up like a princess (I guess), I’m not really sure. And then Zack Ryder came out dress similar to the late, great Macho Man Randy Savage. Rusev had the early momentum, using his mat wrestling skills to have the advantage.

The Bulgarian Brute stopped a flurry of offense by Ryder, and then regained control of the match. Ryder finally got a little opening, and backed Rusev up into a corner, but the current champion stopped that offensive flow once again.

Both superstars spilled to the outside, where Rusev went for a huge splash, but Ryder moved and Rusev went crashing into the barricade. Ryder followed that up with a huge missile dropkick. The challenger hit the Rough Ryder and then went for an Elbro from the top rope, but Rusev got a knee up and then hit a huge kick to the back of the neck.

Rusev then locked in the Accolade, and was able to fight past Ryder’s attempt of breaking out of it, and Ryder had no choice but to tap.

Results: Rusev def. Zack Ryder via submission to retain the WWE United States Championship

After the match, Mojo Rawley made the save for his tag team partner.

Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens

The early favorite for match of the night, as these two are so good in the ring, even more so when they are in the ring against each other. This match started on the outside, with Sami Zayn getting the early advantage.

Owens turned the tides when Zayn went to the high-flying style, and that opened the door for Owens to slow the pace down. A series of strikes and covers were the basis for Owens keeping Zayn down and stopping him from getting to his feet.

Slowing the pace down even more, Owens used a sleeper hold to ground his opponent once again. Zayn was finally able to gain some momentum and open up a window for himself, hitting a closeline. Owens attempting to slow the match down again, rolled to the outside. Zayn went back to his high-flying style and went for a moonsault off the ropes, but he was on the ropes for too long and flipped himself and landed shoulder first onto the apron, in a very scary site.

Owens, a true ring general, went right after that shoulder, but Zayn hit Blue Thunder Bomb, only getting a two count. KO was able to lock in a crossface after dodging a Zayn move off the top rope and hitting a superkick.

Zayn reached for the ropes and the battle between these two would continue.  After a battle back and forth, Zayn hit a brainbuster to Owens on the ring apron, KO’s head bouncing off the apron. Both men were down and out on the outside, and it took a lot of energy from both guys to just get back into the ring and beat the referee’s ten count.

With both men back on the outside, Zayn had Owens in position for that tornado DDT through the ring apron, but Owens countered with a huge superkick, and followed that up with a cannonball right to Zayn’s skull.

Trying to put the finishing touches on this match, Owens hit a frog splash, but that only got a two count. Zayn fought back and hit a tornado DDT and went for a Helluva Kick, which was countered into another superkick. Zayn countered the pop-up powerbomb and hit an exploder suplex, which Owens got right back up from. Zayn hit another exploder, and only got a two count. Going for another Helluva kick, Owens hit a pop-up powerbomb, but Zayn just barley got his foot under the bottom rope to break up the fall.

Owens started screaming at Zayn, telling him to stay down. Zayn hit two exploder suplexes, including one into the turnbuckle and followed that up with two Helluva Kicks, and finally got the three count.

Results: Sami Zayn def. Kevin Owens via pinfall

Natalya vs. Becky Lynch

Poor Natalya and Becky Lynch, that they have to follow that match, but they really are the perfect match for everyone to cool down after that instant classic. Becky had the early momentum, and the crowd was just not into this match after what they just saw between Owens and Zayn. Natalya took advantage went Becky got her leg caught up inside the ring apron, and then she went to work on Becky’s leg, weakening her for the Sharpshooter.

It was a very one-sided affair, with Natalya showing off and continuing to wear down the leg of Becky. For the second time in the match, Lynch went for the disarmer, but Natalya blocked it again. Becky finally was able to power up and started to get some offense in, hobbling around on one leg, hitting an exploder suplex of her own.

Another disarmer attempt was blocked, and Nattie was able to get the sharpshooter locked in. Becky scratched and clawed her way to the bottom rope and then was able to take advantage after catching Nattie with a kick. A missile dropkick by Becky was only good enough to get a two count.

Nattie used a kick while the referee was distracting Becky to get another sharpshooter locked in, and Becky could fight to the ropes this time.

Results: Natalya def. Becky Lynch via submission

WWE Intercontinental Championship Match: The Miz(c) vs. Darren Young 

Well this match is interesting, as if Darren Young wins this match, RAW will have both secondary championships in WWE. It was a back and forth match to start things off, with Young getting advice from coach Bob Backlund at times. A Maryse distraction allowed Miz to gain control on the outside, and keep the challenger grounded to the mat.

Young fought out of a headlock, and then the two battled as Miz went for a backslide and Young blocked it, countering with a backslide of his own. Miz slowed down the challenger with a boot, and then stomped on Young a bunch.

A closeline by Young would knock both men down, with neither have any control in the match. Young took control with some closelines and back body suplex onto the ring apron, but only was enough to get a two count. Miz blocked a crossface chicken wing attempt, and dumped Young down.

Maryse slapped Backlund in the face, and then played it off as if Backlund hit her. This resulted in Miz hitting the outside, trying to leave, but Backlund wouldn’t let him. Young hit the outside and locked in the crossface chicken wing on the outside, and the referee called for the bell.

Results: The Miz retained the Intercontinental Championship via countout

John Cena and Enzo & Cass vs. The Club (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson)

Well here we go, the main event before the main event and this shapes up to be a good one. And I don’t care what happens here, give Enzo Amore everything in the company. He gets better and better with everything he says.

And after that amazing promo from Enzo and Cass, they are going to try to follow that up with a wrestling match. If there are any guys that can do it, it’s the six guys that are in the ring right now.

Enzo and Styles got things started for their respective teams. After Styles got some early momentum, Big Cass got tagged in, and Styles responded by tagging in Anderson and Cass’ strength allowed his team to regain some momentum.

After Enzo got into the ring, The Club started to cut off the Smacktalker Skywalker from his partners, wearing down Amore. They would tag in and out, keeping Enzo away from Cena and Cass.  For the next five or six minutes, it was a systematic beatdown of Enzo.

He was finally able to create some space on the outside, and tried to go for a tag, but Anderson caught him mid-air with a knee to the midsection and it was back to the breakdown of Enzo. Finally, after ducking a splash, Enzo was able to make it to his corner, tagging in Cena and Gallows tagging in Styles.

Styles reversed an Attitude Adjustment into a Pele kick, knocking both men down. Styles finally got to his feet and went for a Styles Clash, but Enzo came in and block that. What followed was a chain of events with everybody getting involved and hitting moves. Enzo caught Cena and then Styles caught Gallows with a move.

Cena was able to finally hit an AA on Styles, but Anderson made the save; pulling Cena out of the ring and then hitting him with a spinebuster onto the German announce table.  The Face that Runs the Place was just barely able to beat the ten count, prolonging the match.

The Phenomenal One hit a Styles Clash on Cena, but Styles was pulled out of the ring before the three count. Anderson and Gallows took out Cass with the Magic Killer, and stood face to face with Enzo. Cena and Styles, who were both on the outside, were still legal. Enzo quickly disposed Anderson, and it was now Enzo one-on-one with Gallows.

Gallows got rid of Enzo and was then face to face with Cena. After disposing of Gallows, Cena went for a second rope AA, but Styles blocked it with some forearms to the face. Cena powered through and hit the move, gaining the three count for his team.

Results: John Cena, Enzo and Cass def. The Club via pinfall

Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel with Randy Orton

After nine months, we finally get to see Randy Orton back in a WWE ring. And Orton actually wore pants to the ring.  Orton talked about enjoying the nine months with his wife and kids, but said that he has missed something; that something was the WWE Universe. He even mentioned that he would tolerate being in the ring with Jericho, because of how hyped the fans have gotten him.

Chris took the liberty to fill in Orton on what has happened while he was gone. He told Orton about the draft, who’s in charge and who is the current champion. He offered Orton a gift to help him get ready for Lesnar at Summerslam. Jericho offered him the gift of Jericho.

Jericho then played a video package for Orton, showcasing the destruction that Lesnar has caused since coming back to the WWE.  He mentioned that Orton and Lesnar have never crossed paths, mainly because Orton is scared of Lesnar.

Orton says that he wanted to make a statement and come back and face the biggest guy in the locker room, and he poked fun at Jericho coming back to fight Fandango. He added that it takes 20 suplexes to get to Suplex City, but only one RKO to get to Viperville, and that there’s “no enhancement needed.”

Following some back and forth, Orton hit Jericho with an RKO, and finished this segment that went on way too long.

WWE Championship Triple Threat Match- Dean Ambrose(c) vs. Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for. A couple of years in the making, we finally get the treat of the Shield triple threat match for the top prize in WWE. Both general managers, Mick Foley and Daniel Bryan, along with the commissioners, Stephanie and Shane McMahon, will be at ringside for this huge match.

And buckle up folks, because here we go. Roman Reigns followed Seth Rollins , and the crowd wasn’t happy to see him back. Last, but not least, the champion Dean Ambrose came out, and the place went nuts for him.

Stephanie and Mick were cheering and pulling for Rollins, while Bryan and Shane wanted their guy, Ambrose, hold onto the championship. Upon the bell ringing, these three men just had a massive stare-down, with the crowd chanting “Roman Sucks.” Rollins went for the Shield fist shake and Reigns went after him with a shoulder tackle, and the match begin Ambrose and Reigns beating up on Rollins.

Amborse went for a quick rollup victory on Reigns, but he kicked out at two. The two shared a laugh and then they went to war. After dumping Rollins on the outside again, it was Reigns going for the rollup victory on Ambrose, and the champion was able to kick out.

Rollins rejoined the mix, finally getting in some offense on Reigns. It didn’t last long, as he was dumped outside again, and Reigns/Ambrose went back at it. Following Ambrose hitting some moves on Reigns, Rollins jumped back into the action, dumping Reigns outside, making it Ambrose vs. Rollins.

With Reigns on the outside, Rollins had control of the match, back Ambrose into the corner and keeping the pace where the challenger likes it. Seemingly the story of this match, Reigns got back into the fray, going after Rollins.

The match spilled to the outside, with nobody really gaining full momentum. Rollins had the appearance of some momentum after throwing Ambrose into the steel steps and then turning his attention to Reigns, who he put through the barricade. Rollins, going back for more, was tossed over into the time-keepers area by Reigns, with the match spilling to the outside. Ambrose ran across two announce tables, taking out both men.

Back in the ring, Ambrose hit Reigns with a missile drop kick and had the Big Dog down. He would follow that up with an elbow drop, that only got a two. While Amborse rolled off of the pin, Rollins hit him with a frog splash, and that got a two count.

Now it was Rollins and Reigns, with Rollins look for a Pedigree that Reigns was able to block. The Big Dog had his share of momentum, taking it to both the champion and the other challenger. He would even hit two Superman punches, one for each party. Rollins and Ambrose block a double spear attempt, Rollins hit Ambrose with a kick, knocking him back  to the ropes. Reigns knocked Rollins down with a superman punch and Ambrose bounced off the ropes, hitting Reigns with a closeline, all three men knocked down.

Rollins was the first too his feet, and this match turned into a slugfest. Ambrose and Rollins worked together, shades of the Shield, and even called for that Shield powerbomb on Reigns. The challenger blocked and cleaned house. Ambrose hit Reigns with a crossbody through the ropes and then Rollins flew over the top rope, hitting Reigns again.

Ambrose and Rollins exchange a look, and cleaned off the Spanish announce table, preparing again for the Shield powerbomb, which they successfully hit, taking Reigns out. In a throwback to the Rollins turn, Rollins hit Ambrose with a chair while his back was turned and then Rollins went after Reigns with the chair.

Rollins and Ambrose were the two back into the ring, and Ambrose blocked a Rollins turnbuckle powerbomb. The Architect hit his superplex and Falcon Arrow combo, but Ambrose kicked out at two.

He followed that up with a Pedigree attempt, but Ambrose blocked and it was Ambrose that chased Rollins up the rope. Reigns made himself known again, hitting both guys with a powerbomb, but Rollins was able to kick out at two.

In another series of blocks, Ambrose blocked a superman punch attempt, and Reigns blocked a Dirty Deeds. Rollins got back into the mix, while Ambrose was on the outside and hit a Pedigree, but Roman somehow kicked out at two.

Rollins was poised, ready to strike again with another Pedigree, but Roman blocked it and Rollins changed it to a turnbuckle powerbomb, which Reigns popped out of and hit a superman punch, and then followed it up with a Spear. Ambrose appeared and then hit Dirty Deeds on Reigns and got the three count.

Results: Dean Ambrose def. Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins via pinfall 

WWE Battleground live recap

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