This night was supposed to be about The Shield. About a match that was two years in the making, ever since Seth Rollins turned on his brothers. While it was a strange show to put this match on, everyone knew that this was the match that had to happen. Going in to Battleground we all knew that it would be an electric main event. Coming out of Battleground however, people aren't talking about The Shield.
They're talking about two men who have been fighting forever and somehow continue to keep their matches fresh. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens both proved why their rivalry has gone on for so long. They are simply too good. Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens wasn't the only bright spot however, as the majority of the PPV was excellent.
Yes there were some low points as there always will be but no matter what we say about WWE, Battleground 2016 proves that when they want to, they really can put on a great wrestling show.
Sasha Banks and Bayley def. Charlotte and Dana Brooke
WWE painted themselves into a corner by not announcing Sasha Banks' partner for this match. There was only one person who the crowd wanted it to be and they likely wouldn't have accepted anyone else. Thankfully, it was who they wanted and Bayley finally made her first appearance on the main roster to a thunderous ovation. This was a pop on the level of AJ Styles debut at the Royal Rumble. It was really that loud. The match itself wasn't spectacular but it was all about Sasha's partner. Sasha and Bayley got the win when Banks made Charlotte submit and gained momentum towards Summerslam.
The Wyatt Family def. New Day
Like the previous match, this match was full of solid wrestling but that wasn't what made this great. The interactions between Xavier Woods and Bray Wyatt made this really interesting. Xavier being tentative about attacking Bray and eventually overcoming his fears but coming up just short was an excellent piece of storytelling within such a short space of time. Also, is Big E OK? He did that terrifying middle rope spot again and it looked like he landed on his head. Again. Seriously, he needs to stop doing it.
Rusev (c) def. Zack Ryder
Another very decent match. Both men worked a slow style and it suited both of them. Rusev made Ryder look like a credible contender but still managed to look like his dominant self which is great. In the end Rusev got the win with the modified Accolade he's started using. Mojo Rawley ran out to make the save for his partner which was...OK I guess. It was a good way to introduce him to those in the crowd who haven't heard of him.
Sami Zayn def. Kevin Owens
There aren't enough good things I can say about this match. The fact that Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn have managed to keep their matches this interesting after fighting for so long is a testament to their ability between the ropes. Everything about this match was brilliant. Sami Zayn going for the Helluva kick off the bat, the multiple half and half suplexes, the Brainbuster on the apron and even that awful looking botched spot by Zayn. Kevin Owens took a break from his usual hilarious trash talk in the ring and got serious. In the end, even the finish was fitting. Zayn hit Owens with a Helluva Kick who then collapsed into his arms. He propped him up and then hit him again. This was a showcase of wrestling ability and in-ring storytelling at it's finest. Kudos to both men.
Natalya def. Becky Lynch
This match was actually quite good but the problem is it suffered from poor placement. Anything going after that match between Owens and Zayn was going to be difficult for the crowd to get into. This is really where the Highlight reel segment should've gone. It didn't help that this match had more of a methodical pace to it. Natalya worked the leg a lot and eventually she got the win via Sharpshooter.
The Miz (c) vs Darren Young goes to a no contest
Every PPV has a bad spot and this was it for Battleground. Going into this, people hadn't been given enough time to become invested in Darren Young's character. This was a fairly average match but the finish was all over the place. Maryse got involved then Backlund got involved and then Darren Young attacked Miz and the bell rang. It was so confusing. A blot on an otherwise excellent show.
John Cena, Enzo Amore and Big Cass def. The Club
Not quite on the level of the main event or Zayn vs Owens but an excellent contest in its own right. This match showcased Enzo Amore more than most. He did his usual thing of being excellent on the mic before the match but during the match he shined very well. Karl Anderson also got a lot of offense in. Overall, coming out of that match every man looked better than when he entered. Eventually Cena got the victory over Styles with an AA from the second rope but even then, that hasn't stunted Styles at all.
Randy Orton on the Highlight Reel
This was something that was best left to TV rather than a PPV even though Jericho and Orton are on separate shows. This was all about one thing. Bring Orton back into the fold. He hit a predictable RKO on Jericho and took a few Jabs at Brock Lesnar's recent failed drugs tests. All in all, not really anything spectacular.
Dean Ambrose (c) def. Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins
This match was everything it was advertised to be and more. On any other night this would have been match of the night but unfortunately it had to contend with Zayn and Owens. As expected, Reigns returned to a flurry of hatred but eventually this just became about the three men of one of the most loved factions in WWE history. Rollins and Ambrose powerbombing Reigns through a table was a particularly good spot. In the end, Ambrose got the win with a Dirty Deeds over Roman Reigns which means the WWE Title will stay on SmackDown. The result makes sense because it legitimizes SmackDown straight away and RAW will likely makes it's own title anyway. All in all, a great way to end a stellar PPV.
Overall PPV Grade: A-